After President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. would be officially backing out of the Paris climate agreement, former President Barack Obama penned his dismay about the decision. Obama, who helped to negotiate the job killing agreement, released a statement about his feelings on the matter.
“I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”
Negotiations for the agreement concluded in December of 2015 and included included 197 countries. In his statement, Obama said “the world” had united around the agreement, attempting to protect the planet for future generations.
Obama continued, writing “steady, principled American leadership” and “bold American ambition” led the way for other nations to advance their protection strategies. He believes that “America’s private innovation and public investment in growing industries like wind and solar ” would have been better for job creation.
President Trump contends that the deal will be “unfair” to U.S. citizens, affecting jobs, the economy and the U.S.’s ability to compete globally. Trump confirmed that all U.S. commitments to the deal will end immediately, although complete withdrawal will take four years.
During the president’s announcement in the Rose Garden, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Scott Pruitt said that America is already a leader in balancing technology and innovation with environmental protection.
“It should be noted that we as a nation do it better than anyone else in the world in striking the balance between growing our economy, growing jobs, while also being good stewards of our environment,” Pruitt said. “We owe no apologies to other nations for our environmental stewardship.”
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