WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) — President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the United States will pull out of the Paris climate accord.
Saying the deal was very unfair to America, Trump added, “This is not what we need.”
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, Trump characterized the Paris accord as a massive redistribution of wealth from the U.S. to other countries. He said it will cost key jobs in the U.S. and send them overseas.
President insisted the accord puts the U.S. at a great disadvantage, and will cost the U.S. economy what he called a vast fortune.
“The cost to the economy is at this time would be $3 trillion in lost GDP and six and a half million industrial jobs,” Trump said.
But Trump said the U.S. will begin negotiations to reenter the accord on terms he said will be fair to the United States.
“We will see if we can make a deal that’s fair,” Trump said from the White House Rose Garden. “And, if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.”
Vice President Mike Pence introduced Trump in the Rose Garden Thursday and said Trump is “choosing to put American jobs and American consumers first” with his announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris accord.
Pence praised Trump’s leadership and said Trump is “Is choosing to put the forgotten men and women of America first.”
“The United States under the Trump administration will continue to be the cleanest and most environmentally friendly country on Earth. We’ll be the cleanest. We’re going to have the cleanest air. We’re going to have the cleanest water. We will be environmentally friendly but we’re not going to put our businesses out of work. We’re not going to lose our jobs. We’re going to grow. We’re going to grow rapidly.”
Trump added, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto responded via Twitter:
The 2015 agreement to fight global warming by reducing carbon emissions was signed by former President Barack Obama. But Trump said other nations will have an unfair advantage over the U.S.
“China will be allowed to build more coal plants, so we can’t build the plants, but they can,” Trump said.
Twenty-five major corporations urged the president to stick with the agreement. They took out a full-page ad in the New York Times Thursday, arguing that the agreement generates jobs and economic growth and warning that withdrawing could expose the U.S. to retaliatory measures.
In a statement, Obama said the Trump administration is joining a “small handful of nations that reject the future.”
Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that he will join the governors of California and Washington state to form a new United States Climate Alliance.
“The White House’s reckless decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord has devastating repercussions not only for the United States, but for our planet,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This administration is abdicating its leadership and taking a backseat to other countries in the global fight against climate change. New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington’s irresponsible actions. We will not ignore the science and reality of climate change, which is why I am also signing an Executive Order confirming New York’s leadership role in protecting our citizens, our environment, and our planet.”
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the move will directly threaten New York.
“I think withdrawing from the Paris Accord is an historic, monumental mistake that we will pay the price for for the next several generations. We will pay the price here on Long Island in New York as coastlines get flooded. The kind of thing we saw at Sandy could become a regular occurrence,” Schumer said.
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) also slammed Trump’s decision in a statement.
“This decision by President Trump to leave the Paris Accord is irresponsibly shortsighted and harmful to the United States, she said. “There is no credible doubt that climate change is real and is caused by human activity. Our children’s generation will have to deal with the potentially catastrophic effects of this shortsighted and dangerous decision to leave the Paris Accord, and I urge all New Yorkers and all Americans who care about our health, our security, and our economy to raise their voices and speak out forcefully against this decision.”
Julie Pullen, a professor of oceanography at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, calls abandoning the Paris accord “a tragedy for the nation and for the planet.”
“To lose security on a planetary scale like that would be devastating,” Pullen told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb.
She says for New York City the result of pulling out the agreement is clear.
“Water level rises, more frequent flooding, not just from every day what they call ‘nuisance flooding’ in a lot of places, but the storm surges that come with major events will also contribute to sea-level rise that we’ve never seen before on unprecedented scales,” Pullen said.
Meanwhile, 61 mayors from across the U.S. – including Mayor Bill de Blasio – announced a pledge to adopt and uphold the Paris accord goals. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee were among the others who signed on.
De Blasio said that pulling out of the deal, as he put it, would be “horribly destructive to the earth.”
The mayor said he plans to sign an executive order maintaining New York City’s commitment to the Paris agreement, saying New York will partner with cities big and small across the country to do the same.
Late Thursday, the spire at One World Trade Center was illuminated in green in honor of the Paris accord, as directed by Cuomo.
Elon Musk has also resigned from Trump’s advisory committee in the wake of the pullout.
Trump also apparently ignored the advice of his daughter, Ivanka, who supports the accord.
Abandoning the pact was one of Trump’s principal campaign pledges.