Obama pans Trump withdrawal from climate deal

Elias Hubbard
June 2, 2017

Captains of industry, corporations and business groups distanced themselves from the White House on Thursday, as many expressed frustration with President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

"As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord", Trump said during the announcement. Jake Jacoby said the actual global impact of meeting targets under the Paris accord would be to curb rising temperatures by 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, the leaders of China and the European Union announced that they remain committed to the Paris Accord and plan to intensify cooperation on clean energy, a huge and growing global market that U.S. businesses will now find harder to navigate.

Not everyone is upset by Trump's decision.

Mr Obama shared the optimism, saying "I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack". With this, the U.S., the country responsible for the highest percentage of carbon emissions worldwide, is no longer a signatory to the December 2015 agreement.

He said he is taking the decision to protect the interest of American businesses and workers. Trump really needs to put away the club he uses to bash all things associated with President Obama, and proceed with positive initiatives of his own, if he has any.

The May letter spearheaded by Liveris urging Trump to stay in the agreement was also signed by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Disney CEO Robert Iger, both of whom Trump named to his business advisory council.

"I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris", he said.

Scientists said United States withdrawal from the deal could speed up the effects of global climate change, worsening heat waves, floods, droughts and storms.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who was among 12 mayors invited to take part in the 2015 Paris Climate Summit, said she's disappointed and angry.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet also pledged support for the agreement in a state-of-the-nation speech to congress in Valparaiso on Thursday.

Moreover, after the US' exit from the deal, other countries could soon follow suit, or at least scale back their efforts to combat climate change, as this report in Vox details. "Even Europe is allowed to continue construction of coal plants", he said. Can any global initiative succeed without the involvement of the United States?

He said Trump's decision is inexcusable, and he wants foreign leaders to know that decisions at the federal level won't stop aggressive action on climate change by individual states.

In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said his country should not retreat from its actions on climate.

In an interview on Thursday, the president of the World Coal Association, Benjamin Sporton, told Reuters that he had mixed feelings about Trump's announcement, adding he was eager to see a USA policy that actively promotes a place for coal in the global energy mix.

In response to Trump's announcement, Australia's Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that Australia remains committed to the deal despite United States' withdrawal.

"We will not ignore the science and reality of climate change", he said, adding that Trump's "reckless" decision could have "devastating repercussions" for the planet.

"America should choose a path for an energy future that is achievable, affordable and most importantly meaningful", the organization said in a statement.

It's not good for the U.S. or world, Elon Musk said.

It is also a grave disappointment for millions of people living in those areas of the United States that are threatened by the effects of climate change, whether it is the flooding that threatens cities like NY and Miami, or the periods of drought and deluge that have plagued California and other states, or the temperature rise that is affecting cities, wildlife and natural areas across the United States.

Climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said the European Union "deeply regrets" Mr Trump's decision and will seek new alliances around the world - including among American supporters of the accord - to ensure that the agreement's provisions are implemented. India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020. He said he would seek to renegotiate the agreement - signed by more than 190 countries - in terms that would better benefit USA workers.

"We never rely on [sponsors] to say what the results will be", said Sugandha Tuladhar, the study's primary author.

Thomson echoed that. "Fairness is completely in the eye of the beholder". But the industry's dramatic downturn has largely been driven by the abundance of cheap natural gas.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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