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Obama pans Trump withdrawal from climate deal

02 Juin 2017

Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk said he would have "no choice" but to leave White House-backed business councils if Trump pulls out.

Trump says the deal "disadvantages" the USA and is causing lost jobs and lower wages.

Abandoning the pact was one of Trump's principal campaign pledges.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, applauded the decision in a statement, saying: "President Trump has once again put families and jobs ahead of left-wing ideology and should be commended for his action".

He has called the Paris pact a hoax and a a bad deal for American workers, which was poorly negotiated by the Obama administration.

"We don't want other countries and other leaders to laugh at us anymore", said Trump in announcing his decision.

US supporters of the pact said any pullout by Trump would show that the United States can no longer be trusted to follow through on global commitments.

His statement on Thursday also notably does not reference Trump directly.

Now, the USA joins only Syria and Nicaragua as countries not in the agreement (the agreement did not do enough for the Nicaraguan government to sign on).

The IIGCC, which counts Blackrock, UBS and HSBC Asset Management among its members, said: "'By opting out, the USA administration is failing to recognise what is already an inevitable and irreversible direction of travel away from dependence on fossil fuels and towards a low carbon future - with all the jobs, growth and innovation that this entails".

Trump's remarks Thursday reflected the nationalist viewpoints espoused by Bannon and his cohorts.

Governor of California Jerry Brown vowed to resist withdrawal from the Paris accord. Like the other officials, that person was not authorized to describe the private discussions by name and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Obama went on to say that "bold American ambition" brought the other countries on board to the agreement. In conversations with his advisers, Trump has cited the affect a withdrawal would have on the states where he won by the largest margins, including in the Rust Belt and the western plains.

Several US cities and states have said they plan to stick to the terms of the agreement despite the federal government's decision to withdraw.

The White House was initially slated to make a final decision on the climate accord earlier this month but delayed the decision until the G7 meeting in Sicily.

Although details and the timeframe are still unclear, Trump argued that the agreement was a bad deal for Americans and that he was keeping a campaign promise to put American workers first.

Pence introduced Trump in the Rose Garden Thursday.

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said in a joint statement Thursday that they take note "with regret" the US decision to pull out of the 2015 agreement.

The agreement, which nearly every country in the world has joined, is created to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in order to keep temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels.

Here are some of the immediate reactions to Trump's decision to pull the United States from the landmark deal.

Donald Trump has confirmed he will pull out of the Paris climate agreement. Musk then claimed that maintaining a relationship with the president would allow him to engage Trump on issues like climate change, which would "on balance serve the greater good". He added: "Clean growth [is] a key pillar of our modern industrial strategy". "And we will start to renegotiate and we'll see if there's a better deal". Modi on Wednesday expressed India's commitment to fighting climate change and said it would be a "crime" to spoil the environment for future generations.

As for the mechanics of withdrawal, worldwide treaties have a four-year cooling off period from the time they go into effect.

Although there had been some discussion of keeping the United States in the Paris accord, while changing its carbon emissions commitments, as a way of maintaining global unity, in the end, Trump chose to cut the cord entirely. The president has previously called climate change a "hoax", tweeting in 2012, "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive". But the targets were voluntary, meaning the US and the almost 200 other nations in the agreement could alter their commitments.

He ended the speech with a reference to his granddaughter, stating, "Let us make clear to the world we will always remember the stakes".

Former President Obama responded to President Trump's announcement that the USA will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, a signature achievement of Obama's two terms in office.

That means Trump can remove the US from the accord without a vote. And the final decision may not be entirely clear-cut: Aides were still deliberating on "caveats in the language", one official said.