On Thursday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the historic Paris climate agreement, which bound nations to cut emissions and take action on climate change. The decision wasn’t surprising, but was nonetheless unsettling, as the United States becomes the only major nation to reject the agreement.
Trump’s decision not only promises to have long-term environmental consequences, but also threatens our relationships with different global powers. Former President Obama has since responded to the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris agreement, which many identified as an attack on his administration’s pro-environment legacy.
In his statement, Obama noted how withdrawal from the climate agreement will really affect jobs and the economy, despite Trump’s promises to restore the obsolete coal industry to its former glory.
“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created,” he said in a statement. “I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack.”
Still, Obama maintained his characteristic tone of hope, noting that many Americans across the nation will continue the fight for climate justice, with or without the support of the Trump administration.
“[E]ven 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,” Obama said.
You can read the statement in full below:
BREAKING: Statement from Pres. Obama released as Pres. Trump announces his decision on Paris climate agreement. pic.twitter.com/B009078jCL
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) June 1, 2017