Emmanuel Macron invites Americans to France after Trump's decision on Paris accord

Cheryl Sanders
June 5, 2017

The White House hit back on Friday at criticism of Donald Trump's decision to scrap a major global climate deal, accusing Europe of trying to "shackle" the United States economy and refusing to acknowledge climate change is real.

Merkel, whose country hosts this year's global climate summit, said Trump's decision was "extremely regrettable and that's putting it very mildly".

Tillerson, who reports have suggested was among those who counselled Trump not to scrap the deal, said last week the United States would pursue unilateral efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions despite plans to pull out of the Paris accord.

One World Trade Center, the Kosciuszko Bridge and New York City Hall also changed their spots in order to show their stance against the US President.

Some also say President Trump mischaracterized the entire agreement as a binding contract that the US needed to cancel rather than, in actuality, a flexible consensus document that is simply a matter of good global citizenship.

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If the United States were actually to exit the Agreement, it would not only jeopardize humanity's best chance at preventing global climate disaster, but also disadvantage the United States' status in the worldwide economic order.

In explaining his decision to exit the Paris Agreement, Trump argued the climate pact would harm American workers and the economy, leading to the loss of manufacturing and energy jobs, particularly in the coal industry.

Trump chose not to take those more dramatic pathways and instead opted to leave the Paris Agreement through the four-year-long withdrawal process. "The Paris accord clearly was not focused on American jobs".

On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his country's withdrawal from the pact, signed in December 2015 by 195 countries and already ratified by 147 nations, including the United States, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to keep the increase in temperature under two degrees Celsius, 1.5 degrees if possible, compared to pre-industrial levels.

Since the election, administration officials have laboured to explain that Trump does not intend to insulate the USA from the rest of the world or leave allies in a lurch. While Trump ultimately sided with Arab leaders who'd implored him not to move the embassy, on the climate deal he seemed indifferent to similarly aggressive lobbying from America's closest partners in Europe.

European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said today: "With China, the EU will fight for its global vision, in which we work together to tackle the challenges we share".

Many politicians and other Americans jumped on Twitter after the announcement to cheer on Trump's "America first" emphasis on the economy. Renewable energy jobs have nearly doubled over the last 5 years. These include carbon dioxide generated from burning of fossil fuels that scientists blame for a warming planet, sea level rise, droughts and more frequent violent storms.

In addition, business is adapting to the new reality.

"Climate change is one of the most pervasive threats to human societies that the world has ever experienced", says Amnesty International USA Executive Director Margaret Huang. Energy companies including BP and Royal Dutch Shell have spent billions researching clean energy, while Walmart claims to save $1bn a year by utilising renewable power.

China and the European Union are now expected to take the lead on climate action.

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