Trump says Climate Accord not in America’s favor, will consider renegotiation

Maggie Curry

“President Trump is choosing to put American industry first” is the easiest way to summarize Vice President Pence’s introduction, and the president’s following speech announcing the country would be leaving the Paris Climate Accord.

The president spoke from the Rose Garden of the White House, first addressing the attack in Manilla, his overseas trip and economic growth since his election.

“One by one, we are keeping the promises I made to the American people,” Trump said. “We’re bringing jobs, plants and factories back to the United States. The fruits of our labor will be seen very shortly, even more so.”

“I don’t want anything to get in our way.”

He then moved to what at that time most media sources were already reporting – the accord.

“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and it’s citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord,” Trump said. “But begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris Accord or an entirely new transaction, with terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its people, it’s taxpayers.”

Withdrawing ended the implementation at that moment of the nationally determined contribution to the accord, and the Green Climate Fund, “which is costing the United States a vast fortune,” Trumps said.

He quoted the National Economic Research Associates, who found in a study that the accord would lead to 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025. He highlighted losses to manufacturing and automobile jobs.

“This is not what we need,” Trump said.

By 2040, the same study he quoted said compliance would cut production for paper by 12%, cement by 23%, iron and steel by 38%, natural gas 31%, and the coal industry – “and I happen to love the coal miners,” Trump said.

The main emphasis was that the Paris Accord was not for American benefits, but the rest of the world.

“The Paris Accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States. While the current agreement blocks the development of clean coal in America,” Trump said. “China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. . . India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020. Even Europe is allowed to continue production.

“It doesn’t get rid of coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States,” Trump said.

Trump said his job was to represent citizens from Pittsburgh, not Paris. Beyond the economic impacts, Trump said the Accord did little for the climate.

“It fails to live up to our environmental ideals,” Trump said of the accord.

He also said he “felt deeply” about the environment. Trump said the agreement lacked proper enforcement on the countries doing the most harm.

Trump said if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it would reduce celsius temperature by 0.2 percent by the year 2100. “Tiny, tiny,” Trump said.

According to NASA, the planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, with most of the warming occurring in the past 35 years, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. The main environmental concern is the loss of ice and the effects that would follow, such as rising sea levels.

The United States joined Nicaragua and Syria in remaining outside of the accord.

“The reality is that withdrawing is in America’s economic interest, and won’t matter much to the climate,” Trump said. “The United States under the Trump administration … will be the cleanest. We’ll have the cleanest air, cleanest water, we’ll be environmentally friendly.”