Week In Review: Paris Climate Accord, Fentanyl Raid23:40

Nick Mcbride
June 3, 2017

Bill Peduto, the Democratic mayor of Pittsburgh, a city that symbolises the rise and fall of the USA coal and steel industries, said the city would proceed with plans made as Paris commitments.

Less finance will dim US influence.

But Britain did not sign a joint statement by the leaders of Germany, France and Italy saying they regretted Trump's decision and stressing that the accord can not be renegotiated.

The architects of the Paris agreement included Christiana Figueres, who until recently led the UNFCCC.

"This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States", Trump said.

The announcement follows Trump's decision to pull out of the climate deal that almost 200 nations agreed to in late 2015.

On top of that, the USA emissions reduction pledge was the absolute bare minimum we could possibly put on the table and was much weaker than most other rich countries. "A cynic would say the obvious reason for economic competitors and their wish to see us remain in the agreement is so that we continue to suffer this self-inflicted major economic wound", the US President said, claiming the Paris deal "hamstrings the United States, while empowering some of the world's top polluting countries", and it should "dispel any doubt as to the real reason why foreign lobbyists wish to keep our magnificent country tied up and bound down by this agreement: It's to give their country an economic edge over the United States".

President Trump made a lot of dubious complaints about the Paris climate agreement in his announcement Thursday to withdraw from it. Calculations suggest withdrawal from the Paris accord could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide a year - enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather. He said that green energy leadership was "a phenomenal economic opportunity for our country. And they won't be", Trump said. South Africa's government calls the USA pullout "an abdication of global responsibility".

In announcing his decision, Trump said he was "elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris".

Under former President Barack Obama, the US had agreed under the accord to reduce polluting emissions by more than a quarter below 2005 levels by 2025.

"It will be harder for us", Gebru Jember Endalew of Ethiopia, who heads the 48-nation group of the least developed nations at U.N. climate negotiations, said of Trump's decision. But the national targets are voluntary, leaving room for the USA and the almost 200 other countries in the agreement to alter their commitments.

Congressional Republicans applauded the decision, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky saying Trump had "put families and jobs ahead of left-wing ideology and should be commended".

That's why Trump's claim Thursday he is willing to somehow "negotiate our way back into Paris ... or to negotiate a new deal" was rejected just an hour later in a rare joint statement by the leaders of Germany, Italy, and France, who said, "We firmly believe that the Paris Agreement can not be renegotiated".

But House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California called it "a stunning abdication of American leadership and a grave threat to our planet's future".

Trump said he could not "in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States and that poses no punishment for the world's great polluters".

Other reports by VgToday

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