President Donald Trump said on June 1 that he is pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord because the deal prioritized the needs of Europe over those of America.
"I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," Trump said during a Rose Garden speech, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Despite pressure from international leaders to remain in the accord, the terms of which former President Barack Obama agreed to, Trump kept his campaign pledge to exit the agreement.
"As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord," Trump said. "It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along with many, many other locations within our great country, before Paris, France. It is time to make America great again.”
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Trump said that it would be "great" if the U.S. can renegotiate new terms and re-enter the agreement, but called it "fine" should that not be possible.
"The Paris Accord is a BAD deal for Americans, and the President's action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first," read a portion of talking points delivered from the White House to Trump surrogates, notes CNN. "The accord was negotiated poorly by the Obama administration and signed out of desperation. It frontloads costs on the American people to the detriment of our economy."
Those who opposed the withdrawal say that it will isolate the U.S., allowing countries like China to step in and lead the global fight against climate change, while Trump and his allies said that the U.S. is already leading the charge toward energy production, making the deal unnecessary and harmful.
"As someone who cares deeply about our environment, I cannot in good conscience support a deal which punishes the United States," said Trump. "The Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States."
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The U.S. emits more carbon than every other country in the world, besides China, which comes in with the highest carbon footprint, notes the Post-Gazette. China, which is working to meet the terms of the Paris agreement, has canceled plans to build more coal power plants and is instead investing in a number of sustainable energy projects.
"The agreement doesn't eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of the United States and ships them to foreign countries," Trump added, according to CNN. "This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States."