Breaking News: Trump Orders Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement

The decision means the U.S. will join Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations not to subscribe to the global agreement to reduce greenhouse gases. Trump attempted to leave the door ajar by stating that he would attempt to negotiate "a better deal."

2 minute read

June 1, 2017, 2:00 PM PDT

By Irvin Dawid

Donald Trump

Andrew Cline / Shutterstock

President Trump made the announcement at a much-anticipated speech in the White House Rose Garden. He defended the move because of what he stated was the cost to the economy of reducing emissions. He felt the that the 'deal' punished the United States.

"But he will stick to the process laid out in the Paris agreement, which President Barack Obama joined and most of the world has already ratified," reports Michael D. Shear for The New York Times. "That could take four years to complete, meaning a final decision would be up to the American voters in the next presidential election."

He interspersed his speech with the announcement of openings of new coal mines in the United States: "unheard of," he stated. And he pointed out that China and India can continue production of new coal plants.

"The agreement is a massive redistribution of U.S. wealth to other countries," he stated.

The decision is in line with his campaign promise to cancel the agreement, so it should not come entirely as a surprise. It is also consistent with a wave of regulation rollbacks he has either initiated as executive orders or signed as Congressional Review Acts.

"The president’s decision was a victory for Stephen K. Bannon, his chief strategist, and Scott Pruitt, his Environmental Protection Agency administrator, both of whom had argued forcefully to abandon the global agreement in favor of a clean break that would clear the way for a new environmental approach," adds Shear. On the losing end were his daughter, Ivanka; son-in-law, Jared Kushner; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Gary D. Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council.

The decision was quickly rebuked by the environmental community.

“This is disgraceful,” said Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA’s executive director. “By withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, the Trump administration has turned America from a global climate leader into a global climate deadbeat.”

Thursday, June 1, 2017 in The New York Times

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