“We’re getting out” Trump stated today from the White House Rose Garden, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
190 out of 193 countries had signed on to the Paris agreement, intended to address global warming on a world scale. Now, only Syria, Nicaragua and the United States have decided not to join the effort that many believe is crucial to saving the planet. Syria did not join the accord as it is in the midst of a civil war that has displaced approximately 12 million of their residents. Nicaragua did not join the accord as they believe the reductions in greenhouse gasses was not stringent enough, and that countries should do more.
Some of the United States’ largest companies urged the President to remain in the accord. Those companies include Exxon Mobile (worlds largest company), Apple (worlds most valuable company), 3M, Bank of America, Facebook, Campbell Soup, Cargill, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Google, Morgan Stanley, Walmart, British Petroleum, Shell, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Cummins, Allianz, GAP, Adobe, Johnson Controls, Salesforce, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Tesla, The Hartford, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, Conoco Phillips, Levi Strauss, Mars, Hewlett Packard, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Virgin Group, Walt Disney, Unilever, Pacific Gas & Electric, Ingersoll Rand, and many others.
Trump disregarded full-page ads that were placed in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal by a consortium of the above companies urging the President to stay in the Paris accord. Many of the US companies believe staying in the Paris agreement will create jobs, create a level playing field, keep costs down, and generate economic growth by expanding markets for innovative technology to meet the goals.
The decision was almost universally denounced at home and across the globe, and risked that the Trump Administration would not be considered a leader in future world issues. The leaders of France, Germany and Italy said in a joint statement that they regretted the United States’ decision to withdraw from the accord, but affirmed “our strongest commitment” to implement its measures and encouraged “all our partners to speed up their action to combat climate change.”
Trump stated during his speech that the United States would be willing to rejoin the accord if it could obtain more favorable terms. The three European leaders said the agreement cannot be renegotiated, “since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economics.” French President Emmanuel Macron later said “I do respect this decision but I do think it is an actual mistake both for the U.S. and for our planet.”