Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris accord on climate change on Thursday afternoon – deriding it as bad for American jobs and bad for the environment.
He dared opprobrium from foreign leaders, environmentalists, scientists and celebrities to say he was putting the jobs of American workers first.
‘We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us any more. And they won’t be. They won’t be,’ Trump declared. ‘I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.’
Before he even sat down, his predecessor Barack Obama launched an all-out assault, saying Trump ‘joins a small handful of nations that reject the future’.
The leaders of France, Germany and Italy said the decision was ‘regrettable’ and that the deal was ‘non-negotiable’.
Elon Musk, the Tesla billionaire, said he was quitting advising the White House, tweeting: ‘Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.’
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President Donald Trump took the United States out of the Paris climate accord on Thursday in a dramatic Rose Garden statement which lashed out at foreign leaders
America first: Trump was unrepentant in saying he was standing up for U.S. interests
America First: ‘We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore. And they won’t be. They won’t be,’ the president said in the Rose Garden
Where’s Jared: The President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka, both said to have wanted him to stay in the Prais treaty, were absent as they marked a Jewish holiday
Trump complained in the White House’s Rose Garden that major polluters like China are allowed to increase their emissions under the agreement in a way that the US cannot. India is hinging its participation on billions of dollars of foreign aid.
‘The bottom line is that the Paris Accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States,’ he said.
He argued later, ‘The agreement is a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries.’
‘This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States,’ he contended.
TRUMP’S KEY WORDS ON CLIMATE DEAL
On the accord…
As of today the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.
This includes ending the implementation of the National Determined Contribution and – very importantly – the Green Climate Fund, which is costing the United States a vast fortune.
The bottom line is that the Paris Accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.
On its cost…
Compliance…could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025, according to the National Rconomic Research Associates.
The cost to the economy at this time [by 2050] would be close to $3 trillion in lost GDP and 6.5 million industrial jobs, while households would have $7,000 less income and in many cases much worse than that.
The Paris Agreement handicaps the United States economy in order to win praise from the very foreign capitals and global activists that have long sought to gain wealth at our country’s expense.
They don’t put America first. I do and I always will.
The same nations asking us to stay in the agreement are the countries that have collectively cost America trillions of dollars through tough trade practices, and in many cases, lax contributions to our critical military alliance.
What he wants now…
We want fair treatment for its citizens and we want fair treatment for our taxpayers.
We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore. And they won’t be. They won’t be.
Trump said he would end the United States’ participation in the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund for the same reason.
The UN program asks developed countries to provide billions in foreign aid on top of what the US already gives.
‘Many of the other countries haven’t spent anything, and many of them will never pay one dime,’ he said.
In another slap at the European leaders who’d lobbied him last week to stick with the agreement, including France’s Emmanuel Macron, Trump said his Paris exit is ‘a reassertion of America’s sovereignty.’
‘Foreign leaders in Europe, Asia and across the world should not have more to say with respect to the US economy that our own citizens and their elected representatives,’ Trump proclaimed.
Trump told off naysayers in a lengthy explanation of his decision and the effect he expects it to have on the US economy as the sun beat down on his audience.
For nearly half an hour Trump railed against the accord he said would result in ‘lost jobs and a very diminished quality of life’ for families in America.
‘The Paris Agreement handicaps the United States economy in order to win praise from the very foreign capitals and global activists that have long sought to gain wealth at our country’s expense. They don’t put America first. I do and I always will,’ he said.
He outlined what he said the accord would do to the American economy: 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025; $3 trillion in lost GDP by 2050; and an average household income loss of $7,000.
Trump said he would be willing to get back in the accord, or one that has the same goals, but only if he is allowed to renegotiate the terms of the United States’ participation.
Among Trump’s reasons for leaving the Paris agreement was the ‘massive legal liability’ that administration lawyers had warned him about.
The Republican president also said he could not back the agreement ‘in good conscience,’ from an environmental stand point.
‘As someone who cares deeply the environment, which I do,’ Trump said, ‘I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States — which is what it does -– the world’s leader in environmental protection, while imposing no meaningful obligations on the world’s leading polluters.’
Trump specifically named India and China as countries that can do what they like to the detriment of the United States’ economy.
‘China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement,’ he said. ‘India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020. Think of it: India can double their coal production. We’re supposed to get rid of ours.
‘Even Europe is allowed to continue construction of coal plants,’ the president said.
Trump ended months of speculation in the afternoon Rose Garden event that was promoted with all the anticipation of a major press conference.
He sided with conservative groups over world leaders and his daughter Ivanka, declaring that the accord poses a dire threat to the American economy and jobs market.
Sitting in the front row for Trump’s outdoor speech was chief strategist Steve Bannon, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Vice President Mike Pence – all of whom were part of a push to leave the agreement.
Ivanka was not there to see more conservative advisers applaud loudly as her father said the United States was out of the treaty. Neither was her husband, Jared Kushner, one of his closest aides, who had also been pressing Trump to stay in, especially if the US could lower the percentage by which it has to cut its emissions.
Trump said Thursday that he would be willing to sit down with world leaders and discuss a new deal for the United States that serves the country’s interests.
The leaders of Germany, Italy and France rejected his offer in a joint statement immediately after.
Good day in the office: Steve Bannon, the President’s chief strategist, was one of the major voices behind pulling out and was in the front row for the announcement
A White House official could not name a country that had expressed interest in new negotiations during briefing with reporters shortly after.
All the Trump representative could say was that it was the administration’s belief that US allies were going to want to make a deal to keep America – the world’s second largest polluter – in the accord.
POLITICOS AND CELEBRITIES REACT
‘Removing the United States from the Paris Agreement is a reckless and indefensible action.’ ~ Al Gore
‘What President Trump did today by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord is an international disgrace.’ ~Sen. Bernie Sanders
‘Trump is having the U.S. pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. Too bad someone didn’t tell his father that he shoulda pulled out, too.’ ~ George Takei
‘Trump alienates allies, walks away from #ParisAgreement & sabotages health care. His presidency is all destruction and no accomplishments.’ ~Sen. Tim Kaine
‘California will resist this misguided and insane course of action.’ ~ California Gov. Jerry Brown
‘Today, our planet suffered. It’s more important than ever to take action.’ ~Leonardo DiCaprio
‘Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.’ ~ Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk
‘Today’s decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.’s leadership position in the world.’ ~Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein
‘Congratulations President Bannon.’ ~ The Sierra Club
‘They have a strong interest in finding common ground with the United States,’ the official said. ‘We don’t want to get out of ahead of ourselves here,’ the person added as reporters fired off follow ups.
Even if the US were allowed to adjust the terms of its participation in the agreement, it would not matter at the moment.
An official who briefed the press could not say what a good deal would like in the president’s eyes.
Prior to the announcement, an official told DailyMail.com that the United State was unhappy with its nationally determined contribution to greenhouse gas reduction in the agreement.
Barack Obama committed the US to a 26 to 28 percent reduction of emissions from 2005 levels by 2025. The official said the NDC was too aggressive.
At Thursday’s briefing on the agreement, a senior official could not provide a ballpark range for reduction when pressed by DailyMail.com.
The briefer would not comment on Trump’s overall position on climate change, either –telling reporters to ‘stay on topic’ when it came up.
Trump presented himself Thursday as an environmentalist and shared concerns that the Paris agreement in some ways does not go far enough.
He said in a 2012 tweet that was not far off from his other comments in the Rose Garden that climate change was a ‘hoax,’ though, and has slammed the idea that human activity has contributed to the warming of the planet.
Asked about Trump’s beliefs on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told a reporter, ‘Honestly, I haven’t asked him. I can get back to you.’
The president’s current thinking was still an unknown on Thursday. A senior official who was put behind the podium to answer questions on Paris provided the same excuse as Spicer.
‘I have not talked to the president about his personal views,’ the official said.
A week ago, an official close to the talks said of Trump’s position on climate change: ‘I think what’s not real is the environmentalist sort of conception of it, which is this like notion that we’re on the cusp of a major apocalypse.
‘Is the climate changing? Has it changed, sure. But that’s like a trite point. So what. The point is sort of, what’s driving it? What are the factors that are driving it. What’s the human impact?’
Continuing the official said, ‘Do we care about that? Yeah, sure, we care about answering those questions…the federal government will continue to fund science and continue to try to get the best science back from our scientists.’
Happy outcome: From left Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Vice President Mike Pence, applauded as the president pulled out of the climate agreement
We’re not here: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner had advised the president to stay in the Paris accord – and instead of being at the Rose Garden they observed the Jewish festival of Shavuot by taking their children, Arabella and Joseph, to shul in Washington D.C.
On your feet: White House aides gave a standing ovation to the president after his Rose Garden speech – but his predecessor issued a highly critical statement while Trump was still speaking
Distributed: This is the official White House document setting out why Trump is pulling the U.S. out of the Paris accord
OBAMA’S FURY AT TRUMP MOVE
Obama issued a statement while the president was still speaking, saying:
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.
It was steady, principled American leadership on the world stage that made that achievement possible. It was bold American ambition that encouraged dozens of other nations to set their sights higher as well.
Speaking out: Obama has made a series of foreign trips, all of them on private jets, and used Trump’s Rose Garden announcement to explicitly attack the new president
And what made that leadership and ambition possible was America’s private innovation and public investment in growing industries like wind and solar – industries that created some of the fastest new streams of goodpaying jobs in recent years, and contributed to the longest streak of job creation in our history.
Simply put, the private sector already chose a low-carbon future. And for the nations that committed themselves to that future, the Paris Agreement opened the floodgates for businesses, scientists, and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation on an unprecedented scale.
The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created. I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack.
But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.
PARIS PROTEST: Dan Ingram, right, told DailyMail.com that his wife Marione, left, is a ‘Holocaust survivor’ during a chat outside the White House on Thursday
For days, Trump had been hinting that he would make an announcement on Paris this week, but he would not say what he had decided, even after US officials told reporters Wednesday that he was pulling out.
The White House tipped its hand just an hour before the president spoke when it distributed a set of ‘talking points’ to allied organizations that proclaimed, ‘The Paris Accord is a BAD deal for Americans, and the President’s action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first.’
The document said the US is exiting the international climate accord because it is in the best interest of US economy.
A successful businessman before he was elected, Trump has already taken steps to end the ‘job-killing’ regulations his predecessor enacted in order to bring the US in line with the environmental pact.
In a May 26, 2016 speech to a gas- and oil-friendly crowd in Bismarck, North Dakota, he had declared flatly: ‘We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement.’
Trump also said then that if he were elected he would stop making payments to United Nations programs that fight global warming.
The talking points the White House gave to conservative organizations on Thursday said, ‘The Accord was negotiated poorly by the Obama Administration and signed out of desperation.’
‘It frontloads costs on the American people to the detriment of our economy and job growth while extracting meaningless commitments from the world’s top global emitters, like China. The U.S. is already leading the world in energy production and doesn’t need a bad deal that will harm American workers.’
Trump, the most unpredictable U.S. president in a century, performed as expected in his speech directly after, despite sending signals of ambivalence about his yes-or-no decision during the week and telling reporters that he was ‘hearing from a lot of people, both ways.’
Asked if he was leaning toward an exit, Trump would only say: ‘You’re going to find out very soon.’
European allies had begged Trump not to ditch the pact last week, and the White House said the president was considering their position, even though that did not appear to be the case on Thursday. Trump specifically smacked leaders in ‘Europe’ and ‘Asia’ – the two continents he just visited.
When White House sources said he was pulling out on Wednesday morning, the reports set off worldwide condemnation led by the United Nations secretary general.
The Vatican called the move a ‘slap in the face’ before it was announced.
Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said: ‘If he really does [pull out], it would be a huge slap in the face for us. It will be a disaster for everyone.’
The Holy See’s government was among those that had asked Trump not to back away from Paris. The Pope gave the US president a copy of his climate change document.
PRIME MINISTERS, PRESIDENTS AND BUSINESS TAKE ON TRUMP
Countries which have decided to stay in Paris were swift to speak out about the impending move to pull out of the climate accord including:
United Nations: Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: ‘Climate change is undeniable. Climate change is unstoppable.
‘Climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable.’
Finland: Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila said climate change won’t be reversed ‘by closing your eyes’ and called the expected withdrawal ‘a big setback’.
China: Will reiterate support for Paris agreement this week during visit by prime minister Li Kequiang to Europe, European Union official told Reuters
European Union: President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani said: ‘Climate change is not a fairy tale. It is a tough reality which affects peoples’ daily lives.’
Vatican: Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said: ‘If he really does [pull out], it would be a huge slap in the face for us. It will be a disaster for everyone.’
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said pulling out with be ‘horribly destructive’
Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google, Gap, Mars and Tiffany & Co. joined a group of large businesses in publishing an open letter to Trump asking him not to end the United States participation in the global warming agreement
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk followed up with the threat he made Wednesday by saying he would, indeed, leave the White House councils he serves on
Disney’s CEO Robert Iger followed the lead of Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk by walking away from the president’s business advisory council
Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google, Gap, Mars and Tiffany & Co. joined a group of large businesses in publishing an open letter to Trump asking him not to end the United States participation in the global warming agreement.
Their ask ran as a full page ad in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
Minutes after Trump’s announcement, Tesla’s Elon Musk said he was cutting ties with the White House.
‘Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,’ Musk tweeted.
Hours later, Disney CEO Bob Iger made the same announcement.
‘As a matter of principle, I’ve resigned from the President’s Council over the #ParisAgreement withdrawal,’ Iger tweeted.
The billionaire had warned Wednesday that he would no longer participant in White House councils if Trump went ahead with his plans to exit Paris.
It was apparent Thursday, that the president didn’t care.
WHAT WAS PARIS AGREEMENT?
The Paris Agreement is the first large-scale global agreement to combat what scientists say is climate change, coming together at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2015 and adopted on December 12.
On Earth Day of 2016, April 22, it was opened for signatures and enough European countries signed on so that the agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016, four days before Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.
China and the United States had already committed to backing the deal in September 2016, with their greenhouse gas output accounting for nearly 40 percent of the world’s emissions. To go into legal force, countries accounting for 55 percent of the world’s emissions had to sign on.
The deal asks that the countries signing on reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Right now 147 countries have ratified the agreement to the 197 who attended the convention.
The aim is to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius – 3.6F – this century.
Part of the reason the Paris Agreement was successful was that ratifying countries can decide independently how to reduce their emissions rather than being told how much to cut by.
Counties, instead, put forward their best efforts through ‘nationally determined contributions.’
The binding part of the agreement makes countries report on their progress decreasing emissions, while the actual setting of emission-reduction targets is non-binding.
The United States said it would try to reduce emissions from its 2005 level by 17 percent in 2020 and 26 to 28 percent by 2025.
Even Pope Francis got involved in the decision with worldwide repercussions. He presented Trump with with his encyclical on the environment during a customary gift exchange last week at the Vatican