US President Donald Trump has formally announced that the country will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.
Trump announced the withdrawal from the agreement in a speech at the White House Rose Garden where he accused it of being unfavorable to the US.
“The Paris Climate Agreement is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries,” Trump remarked.
“Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.”
As well Trump brought attention to a questionable claim that the implementation of the Paris Accord would cost the US $3 trillion in lost output, as well as 9 million jobs.
The Paris Accord is designed to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celcius with an aspirational target of 1.5 degrees of warming.
Limiting warming to this level is seen as vital to preventing some of the most catastrophic effects of climate change.
World leaders condemn the move
The US joins just two other countries, Syria and Nicaragua, who are not part of the accord. Emphasizing this isolation, world leaders have lined up to level criticism at the US government for its seemingly irresponsible move.
“I tell you firmly tonight: We will not renegotiate a less ambitious accord. There is no way,” said new French President Emmanuel Macron in a video in English. “Don’t be mistaken on climate; there is no plan B because there is no planet B.”
Separately Germany, the EU, Canada, China, the UK, Japan and Australia criticized the move and reaffirmed commitments to the targets set in the Paris Accord.
US non-state actors propose independent action
Following the announcement, a number of state and local governments in the US, including New York and California have teamed up with a growing number of corporations to reaffirm their commitment to fighting climate change.
Calling themselves the United States Climate Alliance, the group pledged to continue to push for the Paris emissions reduction targets within their own jurisdictions.
“If the President is going to be AWOL in this profoundly important human endeavor, then California and other states will step up,” said California Governor Jerry Brown.