Up in smoke: President Trump pulls out of Paris
Monday, June 5, 2017, 5:10 PM - Donald Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement — the world's first comprehensive accord of its kind — making good on his campaign promise to pull out.
Trump reiterated his stance that all deals must be fair to all parties and avoid punishing the United States, and he will begin negotiations to re-enter the accord.
“We will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair,” Trump said in a speech Thursday afternoon. “If we can, that’s great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”
With the announcement, the United States joins Nicaragua and Syria as the only countries not involved in the agreement.
HEAR IT: POTUS announcement regarding Paris climate agreement, below
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Under the accord, the U.S.' share of the worldwide effort to curb emissions would have seen a reduction of up to 28 per cent down from 2005 levels by the year 2025.
Trump, who has previously suggested global warming was a hoax perpetrated by China to disadvantage U.S. industry, said withdrawal from the accord would be a reassertion of U.S. sovereignty.
"I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," Trump said Thursday. "We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us any more, and they won't be."
In a statement, former U.S. President Barack Obama condemned Trump's decision.
"The nations that remain in the Paris agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created," Obama said, according to Reuters. "I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also registered his disappointment.
"We are deeply disappointed that the United States federal government has decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement," Trudeau said on Twitter. "Canada is unwavering in our commitment to fight climate change and support clean economic growth."
According to The Associated Press, calculations show that up to 3 billion tonnes of extra carbon dioxide could be in the air within a year — enough to melt Arctic ice faster, raise sea levels, and trigger more severe weather.
In a worst-case scenario, one group of scientists found that if the U.S. doesn't curb its emissions, even if other countries were to meet their Paris Agreement targets, America would contribute up to 0.3 C of warming to the planet by 2100.
However, scientists were divided on how reasonable this outcome could be.
Some said the impact wouldn't be so bad because of the growing renewable energy industry and the financial incentives to use natural gas as oppose to coal. So even if the U.S. were to withdraw from the accord, many said the country is not likely to stop reducing its carbon pollution.
But other groups found that the impacts could be worse, especially if other countries follow the U.S.'s lead. Overall, the general consensus was that without the U.S., the planet's rate of warmth would be much faster and more intense.
The Paris Agreement sets out to keep the average rise in global temperatures below 2 C. In 2017, the U.S. is the world's second-largest carbon emitter.
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With files from Daksha Rangan, Ryan Johnston and Daniel Martins