Minutes later, the man responsible for that decision took the podium in the Rose Garden and revealed that he has no idea what leaving the Paris Agreement actually means.
The current agreement commits to limiting global warming to less than two degrees above pre-industrial levels and set five-yearly targets for signatory nations.
The Paris pact obligates the U.S.to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025, compared to 2005 levels.
Trump met Wednesday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has favored remaining in the agreement. They say it forces the United States to make immediate sacrifices that will hurt the economy, while other countries such as China are allowed to put off action until later.
President Donald Trump kept a campaign promise by announcing Thursday that he is immediately withdrawing the USA from a global climate pact. “For the sake of our country and our future, President Trump must quickly embrace the truth that climate change is real, and act on it – by supporting investments in clean energy technology that will create good-paying jobs and drive innovation, and by restoring American leadership in this massive global effort”.
The governor of California, Jerry Brown, who was instrumental is pushing forward the state’s economy-wide cap and trade program, the only such system in the USA, said: “The President has already said climate change is a hoax, which is the exact opposite of virtually all scientific and worldwide opinion, I don’t believe fighting reality is a good strategy – not for America, not for anybody”.
For now, the alliance includes California, New York and Washington State. Some utilities are also responding to customer demand for renewable power, and the policies of any one administration have little impact on those decisions. Paul also said that USA participation in the Paris agreement were put to a congressional vote it would “fail overwhelmingly”. In a statement following Trump’s announcement, Intel said it “firmly” believes the United States should keep participating in the accord. Paris withdrawal leaves American workers families behind. It is not a branding opportunity, nor is it intended as a platform for lobbying.
The alliance will be “a coalition that will convene US states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change”.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Parliament in the hours leading up to the US announcement he was “committed” to the agreement, despite pressure from several members of his backbench to reassess Australia’s involvement.
In addition to the people of Paris, plenty others are concerned about America withdrawing, especially given how the United States accounts for the second-highest share of global carbon emissions, according to the Department of Energy.
Republicans and conservative groups immediately cheered the decision.
Ever the showman, the 70-year-old gave his decision a reality-TV-style tease, refusing to indicate his preference either way and coyly telling reporters on “you’re gonna find out very soon”.
That plan had sought to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from coal plants, and the fear among conservatives was that environmentalists could use the Paris Agreement as grounds to sue the USA government.
That said, USA carbon emissions will still probably continue to decline, at least for a few years.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has weighed in, arguing that the U.S. should not leave the Paris Agreement.
Mr Trump’s announcement comes less than 18 months after the historic climate pact was adopted in the French capital, the fruit of a hard-fought agreement between Beijing and Washington under Obama’s leadership.
Mrs May is the only European G7 leader not to have signed her name to the statement.