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Political Leaders React to Trump’s Decision to Withdraw U.S. from Paris Agreement
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Summary: Donald Trump announced yesterday that the United States would no longer participate in the Paris Agreement. 

On Thursday, President Donald Trump shocked many when he announced that the United States was removing itself from the Paris Agreement, an international pledge signed by almost 200 countries to mitigate global warming. He said that he wanted to renegotiate the terms that his predecessor Barack Obama had accepted.

  
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“We are getting out, but we will start to negotiate and see if we can make a deal that’s fair,” Trump said.

Trump’s announcement caused people to question his stance on global warming. Based on previous tweets, it appears the president does not believe the science behind it. However, his communications team would not confirm or deny his thoughts on the subject.

At a press conference following Trump’s announcement, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked if the president believes in climate change. Avoiding a direct answer, Spicer said, “I think Administrator [Edward] Pruitt pointed out that what the president is focusing on is clean water, clean air and best deal for the American workers.”

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The Paris Agreement was seen as a turning point for global climate policy, according to Al Jareeza. The 195 countries who had signed the Paris Agreement pledged to do their part to protect the environment, starting in the year 2020. In December 2015, all participants of The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change committed to the agreement after years of negotiation.

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement includes the United States’ financial contributions to the Green Climate Fund, which Trump said costs a “fortune.” According to the rules of the Paris Agreement, a withdrawal could take years to process.



Buzzfeed reported that already 70 cities and several states have vowed to commit to fighting against global warming, despite the president’s announcement. For instance, California Governor Jerry Brown said that Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement was a “misguided and insane course of action.” He as well as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that they had formed the United States Climate Alliance, which they described as “a coalition that will convene US states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change.”

Meanwhile, mayors of cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, New York City, and Salt Lake City said that they would honor the terms of the Paris Agreement and provide an example of global leadership.

“If the president wants to break the promises made to our allies enshrined in the historic Paris Agreement, we’ll build and strengthen relationships around the world to protect the planet from devastating climate risks,” the mayors wrote.

Pittsburgh’s mayor Bill Peduto joined the other cities in the letter, and he also took to Twitter to lambast Trump’s decision.

“The United States joins Syria, Nicaragua & Russia in deciding not to participate with world’s Paris Agreement. It’s now up to cities to lead,” Peduto tweeted yesterday.

Trump’s announcement caused his advisors Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, and Robert Iger, CEO of Disney, to formally resign in protest.

European leaders also came together to condemn Trump’s withdrawal.

“Today is a sad day for the global community, as a key partner turns its back on the fight against climate change,” the European Union’s Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said. “The EU deeply regrets the unilateral decision by the Trump administration to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement.”

While other countries may not support 45’s decision, Trump’s fellow Republicans have spoken up to support the president.

On Twitter, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, said that the Paris Agreement was a “raw deal for America.”

Senator Ted Cruz criticized Elon Musk for his resignation, stating on Twitter, “In support of Paris, CA billionaires pledge to never again fly private, will only fly commercial. J/K–will quit symbolic councils instead.”

Source: Buzzfeed

What do you think of the Paris Agreement and Trump’s withdrawal? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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