UN chief: Climate action 'unstoppable,' nations should stay course

Elias Hubbard
June 4, 2017

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank on Friday criticized President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, months after the sports apparel company founder drew heavy criticism for praising his administration.

On Thursday (1 June), the United States president announced that he will withdraw from the treaty signed in 2015 to keep his campaign promise to put "American workers first". Trump is merely saying that the Paris agreement "is destructive of economic growth" in the US, Ross said. Trump pulled out of the agreement which former President Barack Obama and a host of other countries signed in 2015.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday the United States will pursue unilateral efforts to curb greenhouse emissions, despite pulling out of the Paris accord.

Robert Murray, the chief executive of Ohio-based coal mining firm Murray Energy, hailed the move as a pivotal step in Trump's environmental plans.

"Even with the Trump administration in place, the global trend toward renewable energies is continuing - including in the United States", Höhne says.

Peabody Energy, the US's largest publicly traded coal company, also praised the decision, claiming the current agreement could have damaged the U.S. economy.

An analysis by the Climate Action Tracker, a consortium of researchers, suggests that climate-change policies instituted by Obama would have cut U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions by 10% below 2005 levels in 2025.

Several major USA corporations, captains of industry and business groups urged Trump to honor the endangered agreement, with major oil companies ExxonMobil and Chevron among those reiterating their support for the accords. In an open letter to the president, 25 firms, including tech giants Adobe, Apple, Google, Facebook, HPE, Intel and Microsoft, had begged Trump to leave the deal intact. His estimate is that pulling out of the Paris agreement would cost the US economy $8.2 trillion through 2100. Under President Obama, the USA pledged to reduce its own emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, and give $3 billion to a climate fund benefiting poorer nations. "I can assure you, France will not give up the fight".

USA billionaire, philanthropist and U.N. envoy for climate change Michael Bloomberg pledged $15 million to support the agreement's coordinating agency if necessary - the sum it stands to lose should the United States refuse to pay its share. Because once Donald Trump pulled us out of that agreement, those energy companies that are already dying, lost their seat at the table for future discussions about global energy projects. "But it wasn't enough".

"The United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country."

At a town hall this week, Walberg was pressed about his views on climate change-perhaps with the looming prospect of Trump's big Paris decision in mind.

The government of one of Africa's largest economies said the decision damaged the rule of law and "trust between nations", adding that the USA has a "moral obligation" to support poorer countries in the global effort against climate change.

France, Germany, Italy issued a joint statement saying that Paris climate accord can not be renegotiated, but Prime Minister Theresa May declined to join the signatories, leaving a spokesperson to issue a statement instead.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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