Earlier today Donald Trump confirmed that the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement.
America, which is the world’s second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, joins Nicaragua and Syria as the only countries who are not signed to the treaty which aims to tackle global climate change.
“In order to fulfil my solemn duty to the United States and its citizens, the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accords or a really entirely new transaction, on terms that are fair to the United States,” President Trump told reporters at an announcement in the White House rose garden on Thursday.
The US’ withdrawal has been met with condemnation around the world, including here in Canada where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement in response to the decision.
“We are deeply disappointed that the United States federal government has decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement,” Trudeau said in a written statement.
“Canada is unwavering in our commitment to fight climate change and support clean economic growth. Canadians know we need to take decisive and collective action to tackle the many harsh realities of our changing climate.”
Trudeau described the US’ decision as “disheartening” but added that “…we remain inspired by the growing momentum around the world to combat climate change and transition to clean growth economies. We are proud that Canada stands united with all the other parties that support the Agreement. We will continue to work with our domestic and international partners to drive progress on one of the greatest challenges we face as a world.”
Talking about the importance of the agreement and the growing threat of climate change across the planet the prime minister said: “This is not only about the huge economic opportunities of clean growth and the need to address the pressing threats of climate change. This is about an ambitious and unshakeable desire to leave a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet for our kids and for generations to come.”
Trudeau said that Canada would continue to work with our neighbours south of the border in order to influence their climate policies.
“Canada will continue to work with the U.S. at the state level, and with other U.S. stakeholders, to address climate change and promote clean growth,” he added. “We will also continue to reach out to the U.S. federal government to discuss this matter of critical importance for all humankind, and to identify areas of shared interest for collaboration, including on emissions reductions.”