But the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will not stop climate action in the United States.
World leaders on Thursday reacted quickly to President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement, with former Vice President Al Gore calling the move "reckless and indefensible".
"We're getting out", Trump said at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden under sunny skies on a warm June day. "And if we can, that's great". Energy Secretary Rick Perry endorsed a renegotiation. CBS News' Major Garrett confirmed Wednesday that the president was expected to pull out.
He suggested that other nations were "laughing" at the USA and that the accord was "about other countries gaining an advantage over the United States".
Trump's decision puts the U.S.in the company of only two other nations - Nicaragua and Syria - that have decided not to participate in the global agreement reached in December 2015.
The Paris agreement works to curb global greenhouse gas emissions.
So U.S. participation in the Paris accords was vitally important. Those countries were counting on the funds to help them meet their own climate change goals. He did offer one possible concession, saying he would undertake negotiations on entering a new climate pact - or even re-entering the Paris accord - on terms that were fair to the U.S.
He said pulling out of the agreement will now help the cities whose economies rely on energy-related jobs.
Supporters of the pact said his move means the United States can no longer be trusted to fulfil global commitments. "This put the United States of America to a very very big economic disadvantage", he said, adding that as a result of the deal, the USA would not be able to compete with other countries in the world.
"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.
Opponents of the Paris agreement also say imposing regulations to reduce carbon emissions is too costly. Signaling that he wasn't going to give up the fight against climate change, he made pointed references to Trump's campaign promises.
"It protects the American taxpayer", said the statement from the lawmaker who represents Virginia Beach.
But at that point, many around the world will choose not to listen - in part because they'll have just seen an ignorant American president who thumbed his nose at 195 countries, deliberately abandoning our unique responsibilities, and in part because they'll have no way of knowing when the American electorate might again elect someone of Trump's ilk. Trump did not participate in the statement. Some of his aides have been searching for a middle ground in an effort to thread the needle between his base of supporters who oppose the deal for fear it will hamper USA economic growth and those warning that a US exit would deal a blow to the fight against global warming as well as to worldwide US leadership.
Democrats were uniformly scathing in their assessment of Trump's decision, with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer declaring it "a devastating failure of historic proportions".
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