Macron counters Trump's 'Make America Great slogan', says make planet great

02 Juin, 2017, 12:43 | Author: Marc Bacque

Top American executives have voiced their anger and displeasure after President Donald Trump announced that he will pull the USA out of the historic Paris climate accord due to the "draconian financial and economic burdens" it imposes on the country, the media reported.

And yet, there were reasonable grounds for hope that this might have been one place where Trump would move from being a demagogic campaigner to being a real president, one who deals not just with applause lines but with real US interests and with America's place in the world.

The US president said countries like China and India, which were leading polluters, were getting away with a partial deal.

"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", Trump added.

Before entering politics, Trump famously called climate change a concept that was "created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive". Fighting climate change is not just a wise long-term decision.

China is also complaining.

But as senior Conservatives expressed their dismay, the PM was attacked by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party for failing to protest in more robust terms. Jobs lost at polluting companies tend to be offset by new jobs in green technology. Scientists say these are the largest increases possible without risking catastrophic and irreversible change in the world's climate.

Luckily, it looks like cities, states, and forward-looking companies will defy Trump and keep up the good fight, with states such as California standing out in this regard. Now the USA stands with only Syria and Nicaragua as countries on the sidelines.

Any delay in USA efforts to halt greenhouse gas emissions could cost the country and the world in the long term, scientists say.

White House officials cautioned that details were still being hammered out and that, although close, the decision on withdrawing from the 195-nation accord - agreed to in Paris in 2015 - was not finalized.

In response to Trump's ignorant rambling, the mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, quickly tweeted: "I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future".

US allies rallied behind the Paris accord on Wednesday.

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The spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the action a "major disappointment".

Three Democratic governors - including Washington's Jay Inslee - say they won't let the United States back away from the global commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions despite President Donald Trump withdrawing from an worldwide pact.

The leader of Asia's other behemoth, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi - who is due to visit the White House shortly - has said failing to act on climate change would be "morally criminal". That requires the same one-year notice, but there's no waiting period. "U.S. companies are well positioned to lead in these markets". Tesla's Elon Musk threatened to quit White House advisory councils if the president pulls out.

The UNFCCC has almost universal membership and provides the underlying framework for worldwide cooperation to combat climate change.

While traveling overseas last week, Trump was repeatedly pressed to stay in the deal by European leaders and Pope Francis. "It wasn't enough", he said.

Quitting the Paris accord may not resonate with members of Trump's Republican Party as much as his administration expects.

Ultimately, the lobbying by Trump's environmental protection chief Scott Pruitt and chief strategist Steve Bannon urging the president to leave won out. Let's hope he isn't vacillating, as this should be one of his easiest decisions.

Trump had vowed during his 2016 presidential campaign to "cancel" the Paris deal within 100 days of becoming president as part of an effort to bolster USA oil and coal industries. The US committed to reducing climate emissions by 26-28% in a decade at the time.

Trump has slammed the global agreement as bad for U.S.jobs despite its widespread support from corporate America.

Just a few years ago, the USA business world was using all its weight to impede climate talks, notably leading to the collapse of a 2009 summit in Copenhagen. "By withdrawing, the administration has passed up an opportunity both to expand US leadership in clean energy technology and create well-paid American jobs with a future", Kasich said.

The Paris Agreement lays out a framework for countries to phase out fossil fuels and adopt clean energy in an attempt to prevent the planet from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

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