Trump withdrawal from climate deal gets mixed response from U.S. companies

02 Juin, 2017, 10:49 | Author: Come Portier
  • Bracing for Donald Trump’s decision on whether to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord environmental groups and states opposed to a withdrawal are publicly ramping up their arguments

United States President Donald Trump on Thursday said Washington was withdrawing from the 2015 global agreement to fight climate change. Jake Jacoby said the actual global impact of meeting targets under the Paris accord would be to curb rising temperatures by 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The US accounted for 15 per cent of the world's carbon emissions in 2016, she noted. "But as the president has acknowledged, certain elements of this deal were not equitable for USA manufacturers", said Ross Eisenberg, vice president for energy and resources policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, in a statement to Reuters.

Trump: "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris".

The Paris agreement commits the U.S. and 187 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures "well below" 2C above pre-industrial levels and "endeavour to limit" them even more, to 1.5C.

Nicaragua and Syria are the only countries not party to the Paris accord, the former seeing it as not ambitious enough and the latter being racked by a brutal civil war.

Why did Trump pull out of the accord?

Meanwhile, former Mexico president Vincente Fox unleashed a tweetstorm following the announcement, saying Trump has "surrendered the hopes and future of a nation". "By 2040, our economy would lose 6.5 million industrial sector jobs including 3.1 million manufacturing sector jobs". "For the simple reason that it put our country, the United States of America, which we all love, at a very, very big economic disadvantage", he said.

Mr Trump did not give a timescale. Three quarters of the world's nations have ratified the agreement, including China and India. "And they will not be", said the United States president. "This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States", he said.

What has the reaction been?

"What we really need to see, if the president wants to re-enter the deal, is that he can change the agreement to recognize the role of all sources of energy, including coal", Sporton said, adding his group had described to administration officials the benefits of remaining in the agreement.

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Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk and Walt Disney Co CEO Robert Iger said they would leave White House advisory councils over Trump's decision.

Mayor Bill Peduto, a Democrat, called the decision "disastrous for our planet, for cities such as Pittsburgh", and a step that "has made America weaker and the world less safe".

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he believes the U.S. should continue to pursue a cleaner energy future, but doesn't agree that the Paris agreement ensures a balance between environment and economy.

Environmentalists and corporate honchos also criticised the decision as an irresponsible move.

Canada was "deeply disappointed" by President Trump's decision, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. "Thank you to U.S. press and other numbskulls who put him there", she raged.

In a joint statement, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron said the agreement could not be renegotiated. Japan said the decision was "regrettable" while Environment Minister Koichi Yamamoto said he was disappointed and angry.

A United Nations spokeswoman said it was a "major disappointment for global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote global security".

Australia's Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg condemned the move while New Zealand's Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett argued that U.S. was not made to pay a disproportionate cost.

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