Nearly two thirds of Americans oppose Trump scrapping Paris agreement, poll shows

Elias Hubbard
June 6, 2017

"It's better Trump is outside the agreement rather than pulling it down from the inside", added Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid, which lobbies for poor country interests at the two-decade-old United Nations climate negotiations. He said participating in the pact would undermine the U.S. economy, wipe out jobs, weaken national sovereignty and put his country at a permanent disadvantage. On Friday, a host of US states, cities, and companies vowed to live up to the terms of the deal.

Trump called leaders of France, Germany, Canada and Britain to personally explain to them his reasons for pulling out of the accord and, according to a White House statement, assure them that "America remains committed to the trans-Atlantic alliance and to robust efforts to protect the environment".

There was a mix of dismay and anger across the world.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors said it strongly opposed Trump's action and vowed to continue efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

Later, Pruitt said there were "climate exaggerators" in the media and politics who were hindering the discussions over the issue of whether global warming is an "existential threat". As Cook told his employees, "Our mission has always been to leave the world better than we found it".

Every country that has signed has the right to do so, she said.

Coal and cement producers say the Paris accord would put them at a competitive disadvantage and that they too are taking steps to cut emissions.

However, Nobel Prize victor Kenneth Arrow, who developed numerous ideas now used to justify setting a price on carbon emissions as a way to limit them, said that despite the criticism, the "the fundamental conclusion of Stern is justified".

At City Hall and on the streets, Pittsburgh residents expressed support for efforts to combat global warming and complained that the president, in singling out this city of 300,000, seemed to be thinking of a smoke-belching, soot-choked Pittsburgh that no longer even exists.

This way, the Trump administration, heavily influenced by the fossil-fuel industry, will have less sway over the United Nations climate process, they said. It will also help fulfil the Paris agreement reporting requirements so that the world can track the United States' progress.

Norway's largest pension fund with 53 billion euro ($59.5 billion) in assets under its management said it would continue to invest in renewable energy despite the American president's decision, saying in a statement that "Donald Trump is jumping off a train that has already left the station". This is executed through bilateral mechanisms and has nothing to do with the Paris Agreement. Because if he did believe in it he wouldn't pull out of Paris.

Pruitt, asked if he himself believed climate change is occurring, said he has indicated that "human activity contributes to it in some manner".

Rex Tillerson testifies during a confirmation hearing.

A number of figures from U.S. industry expressed their dismay at Trump's move.

"Climate change is real, and we must act now. Industry must now lead and not depend on government".

White House aides have been divided on the question of staying or leaving the accord and had been deliberating on "caveats in the language" as late as Wednesday, one official said.

The 2015 agreement, signed by 195 countries, calls for reducing the impact of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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