Trump defends US pullout from ‘one-sided’ Paris climate agreement
US President Donald Trump has censured as “unfair and one-sided” the Paris climate accord, defending his decision to pull the country out of the landmark 2015 agreement even as his Democratic rival Joe Biden has pledged to rejoin the deal.
"I withdrew the United States from the unfair and one-sided Paris Climate accord, a very unfair act for the United States," Trump said on the sidelines of a virtual G20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
"The Paris accord was not designed to save the environment. It was designed to kill the American economy. I refuse to surrender millions of American jobs and send trillions of American dollars to the world's worst polluters and environmental offenders, and that's what would have happened," he added.
The United States under Trump formally left the 2015 Paris accord earlier this month, becoming the first country to ever pull out of an international climate change pact.
Trump first announced his intention to pull the United States out of the global agreement to fight climate change in June 2017, characterizing the decision as “a reassertion of American sovereignty.”
The move drew rebuke from Democrats at home and world leaders who had pressed Trump not to abandon the 197-nation accord.
In November 2019, the United States presented its withdrawal letter to the United Nations (UN), saying it would be officially out of the Paris accord on November 4, 2020, one day after the US election.
Trump has labeled climate change a “hoax,” defying widening international support for the Paris agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. He has argued that the concept of global warming has been “created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”
The Paris agreement was reached on November 4, 2016 and has been signed by 197 countries. At least 135 of them have now formally ratified the agreement. They represent more than 75 percent of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions.
The Paris agreement seeks to avert climate change by limiting global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures by 2050. It also sets out a goal of reaching a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius, if possible.
Biden has vowed to rejoin the Paris climate accord on his first day in the White House, a move welcomed by European leaders.
The former vice president has proposed a $1.7 trillion plan to take the #United_States — the world's second biggest carbon emitter — to net zero by 2050.
Most scientists believe the world must cut emissions sharply and quickly in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of global warming. China, Japan, South Korea, and the #European_Union (EU) have recently ramped up their carbon cutting targets.