President Donald Trump vowed June 1 to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement on climate change but said he is willing to renegotiate the country's commitments to the agreement or seek a "new deal."
The president made the announcement from the White House rose garden, with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and other administration officials in attendance.
Trump, who pledged during his campaign to withdraw the U.S. from the deal if elected, said the Paris accord would hurt U.S. workers and the economy. He promised to end implementation of the U.S. nationally determined contribution to the pact, including a commitment to lower economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 26% to 28% from 2005 levels by 2025. He also will halt payments to the international Green Climate Fund, which seeks to provide $100 billion to developing countries for climate change mitigation efforts.
President Donald Trump announced plans June 1, 2017, to withdraw the U.S. from Paris climate accord.
Source: Associated Press
"In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord ... but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction with terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers," Trump said.
The president provided estimates from NERA Economic Consulting that the Paris deal would cost the U.S. up to 2.7 million jobs by 2025 and sharply decrease domestic coal and natural gas production. The deal also would provide an advantage to other countries, allowing China to continue building coal plants and letting India raise its coal production while the U.S. coal industry struggles, Trump said.
"This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States," Trump said. "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," he added.
But public and business support for the Paris deal is strong. A diverse coalition of companies, including oil producer Exxon Mobil Corp., advocated remaining in the agreement. The mayor of Pittsburgh attended the December 2015 Paris climate summit and encouraged Trump to embrace the accord.
Trump may have difficulty renegotiating the deal. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change released a statement saying the Paris agreement "cannot be renegotiated based on the request of a single party."
Pulling out of the deal will not be immediate. Under the terms of the Paris accord, no country can begin the withdrawal process until three years after the agreement enters into force. The deal entered force on Nov. 4, 2016.
Following the Rose Garden announcement, White House officials offered few additional details to reporters about how Trump intends to renegotiate and whether any world leaders have offered to do so.
While one official said Trump's pledge to renegotiate is sincere, he declined to preview a new emissions limit or policy to address climate change, saying "the fact that the president said he wants to come back and re-negotiate a better deal for the United States pretty much speaks for itself." The official said there will be "action in the coming weeks" on the re-negotiation efforts, and the withdrawal process will be consistent with the terms of the agreement.
The official also dodged numerous questions on whether Trump believes that humans contribute to climate change. Instead, the official noted the country's accomplishments in lowering carbon dioxide pollution and other environmental achievements.
"I think leading the world is pretty good, right? I think being number one speaks for itself," the official said.