President Donald Trump has announced that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord on Thursday. According to CNN, this decision “amounts to a rebuttal of the worldwide effort to pressure Trump to remain a part of the agreement,” which includes the involvement of 195 other countries.
In a statement, Trump said: “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but being negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction under terms that are fair to the United States.” He added: “We’re getting out. And we will start to renegotiate and we’ll see if there’s a better deal. If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”
CNN states that by backing out of the Paris climate accord, Trump “will spark a lengthy process that won’t conclude until November 2020– the same month he’s up for reelection, ensuring the issue became a major topic of debate in the next presidential election.”
As a result of his actions, the President has elicited the critique of countless politicians and celebrities, who feel that the decision to not comply with the climate accord is a huge mistake. Among these political figures are Senators Ben Cardin, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and congressional candidate David Yankovich, who wrote that “Leaving the Paris climate agreement is a disaster of generational proportions that negatively impacts our standing in the world community.”
Former Vice President Al Gore and the producers behind the new documentary about climate change, An Inconvenient Sequel, posted a statement on Twitter that called the decision to remove the United States from the Paris agreement “a reckless and indefensible action.”
Gore added that “It undermines America’s standing in the world and threatens to damage humanity’s ability to solve the climate crisis in time. But make no mistake: if President Trump won’t lead, the American people will.” Read the full statement below.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry had a similar reaction to Gore, posting an official statement on his Twitter account that read: “The President who promised “America First” has taken a self-destructive step that puts our nation last. This is an unprecedented forfeiture of American leadership which will cost us influence, cost us jobs, and invite other countries to walk away from solving humanity’s most existential crisis.
It isolates the United States after we had united the world.”
Read his full statement, with a link to his Facebook page, below.
Negative feedback from the entertainment world included performers like Academy Award-winning singer John Legend, actress Alyssa Milano, actors Toby Stephens and Eric Balfour, and Bette Midler, who wrote “Short-sighted #DonaldTrump quits Climate Accords. Think of all the time effort & money poured into this & he bails giving BigOil a windfall.”
Academy Award winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, whose affiliation with climate change has been well documented, even tweeted at President Trump earlier in the day, writing: “@realDonaldTrump, I hope you make the moral decision today to protect future generations.”
In the aftermath of Trump’s decision, DiCaprio also voiced his disappointment:
Perhaps the most notable reaction came from former President Barack Obama, who was heavily in favor of the Paris Climate Agreement. He too released a statement to the press, saying that he believes “America should be at the front of the pack” and that “even in the absence of American leadership; even as the Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”
Read the full statement below: