United States President Donald Trump has announced the US will withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, claiming the deal is more “about other countries gaining an advantage over the United States.”
The US would withdraw from the agreement immediately and would start negotiating a new deal “on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”
“The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” Mr Trump said during in his announcement in the White House Rose Garden.
“We’re getting out. We’ll see if we can make a deal. If we can’t that’s fine.”
He said the current agreement made it “very hard” for the US “to compete with the rest of the world.”
He added it threatened American jobs and was more about giving other nations a financial advantage over the country.
“It just transfers [coal] jobs out of the United States and ships them to other countries,” Mr Trump said.
“At what point do they start laughing at us a country?”
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
“I will work to ensure America remains the world’s leader on environmental issues but under a framework that is fair.”
Mr Trump said the US would end all non-binding elements of the agreement from today and it could begin negotiations to re-enter the Paris agreement or arrange a new agreement.
The United States joins Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations not committed to the agreement.
It was one of Mr Trump’s campaign promises, even though the agreement is non-binding and requires countries to set their own emissions reduction targets.
Paris Accord Still a “Very Meaningful Agreement” to Australia
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and federal Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said Australia remained committed to the Paris agreement.
Mr Frydenberg said the accord was still a “very meaningful agreement” despite the US’ exit, who was the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases at 16 per cent of emissions.
“You have more than 190 countries that signed on and in record time 146 countries have ratified,” Mr Frydenberg told the ABC.
“Even without the US, around 70 per cent of the world’s emissions are covered by that agreement.”
He said Australia’s targets were reachable.
“We believe that the targets we agreed to, the 26 per cent to 28 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 on 2005 levels are reasonable, are achievable,” Mr Frydenberg said.
He said the US business community remained committed to the agreement.
World and Business Leaders Condemn Annoucement as Disappointing and “Irresponsible”
Reaction to Mr Trump’s announcement has been swift with many condemning Mr Trump’s decision.
Former President Barack Obama was among the first to release a statement, saying the US must increase its efforts.
“A year and a half ago, the world came together in Paris around the first-ever global agreement to set the world on a low-carbon course and protect the world we leave to our children,” he said.
“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created.”
“But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up.”
Former US Vice President said Mr Trump lacked leadership on climate change.
France, Germany and Italy released a joint statement, saying the Paris accord would not be renegotiated.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called the announcement “irresponsible”.
Business leaders also voiced their disapproval with Tesla founder Elon Musk saying he was quitting the presidential councils he was involved in, in response to the announcement.