President Donald Trump said he “withdrew the United States from the terrible, one-sided Paris Climate Accord,” during a speech on Wednesday.
One of Trump’s campaign promises was to remove the United States from the pact.
Trump in Pennsylvania touted the country’s growing energy independence and his cancellation of the Clean Power Plan, the Stream Protection Rule, and the Waters of the United States Rule, arguing they hindered business, enabled bureaucratic micromanaging, and caused electricity prices to soar.
“I withdrew the United States from the terrible, one-sided Paris Climate Accord. It was a total disaster for our country. And I thought when I did that, it would be very tough. And all I do is get applauded for that move, so much. It would’ve been so bad for our country. They were taking away our wealth. It was almost as though it was meant to hurt the competitiveness—really, [the] competitiveness of the United States. So, we did away with that one,” he added.
“The Paris Accord would’ve been a giant transfer of American wealth to foreign nations that are responsible for most of the world’s pollution. Our air right now and our water right now is as clean as it’s been in decades. Shutting down American producers—the Paris Accord would’ve been shutting down American producers with excessive regulatory restrictions like you would not believe, while allowing foreign producers to pollute with impunity. They were allowed to do what they were doing.”
“What we won’t do is punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters. Because I can say it: Right now—and I’m proud to say it: It’s called ‘America First.’ Finally, it’s called ‘America First,'” he added later. “My job is to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not the people of Paris.”
The Paris climate agreement (pdf) was hammered out in 2015 through the United Nations while President Barack Obama was in office. Countries were required to prove reports of emissions of greenhouse gases and other data in an effort to combat climate change.
According to the agreement, no country can officially withdraw until three years from the date on which it entered into the pact. Countries were required to give written notice and weren’t officially marked as withdrawn for one year after they submit the notice. The United States can officially submit its notice of withdrawal on Nov. 4.
Trump has spoken about his intention to withdraw from the accord before, including at a press conference on June 1, 2017.
“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord,” Trump said at the time. He said his administration would negotiate to reenter the accord or a new pact “on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”
In the meanwhile, Trump said, the United States would immediately “cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.”