WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump denounces the Paris climate agreement Sunday, telling world leaders at a virtual summit that the deal was designed to cripple the US economy, not to save the planet.
“To protect American workers, I pulled the United States out of the unjust and one-sided Paris climate agreement, a very unfair act for the United States,” Trump said in a White House video statement at the top of the Group of 20 organized by Saudi Arabia. His comments came during a discussion among the world’s largest economies on saving the Earth.
President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office in January, has said he will join the global pact that the United States helped forge five years ago.
Trump argued that the international agreement was “not designed to save the environment. It was designed to kill the American economy. “
Trump, who has worked to undo most of President Barack Obama’s efforts to tackle climate change, said that since withdrawing from the climate deal, the United States has reduced carbon emissions more than any other country.
True, but not that remarkable. With its giant economy, the United States has far more gross emissions of climate-damaging carbon dioxide to reduce than any other country except China.
A more revealing measure of progress in various countries is to look at the percentage of emissions that a country has reduced. Since 2005, the United States has not even been in the top 10 for greenhouse gas emission reductions.
More than 180 countries have ratified the agreement, which aims to keep the increase in average temperatures around the world “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and ideally no more than 1.5 C (2 , 7 F), compared to pre-industrial levels. Scientists say any rise above 2 degrees Celsius could have a devastating impact on large parts of the world, raising sea levels, fueling tropical storms and worsening droughts and floods.
The United States officially left the Paris Pact on November 4. On Saturday, the United States formally left the Open Skies Treaty, which allows more than 30 countries to conduct unarmed observation flights in each other’s territory. These flyovers were put in place decades ago to promote trust and avoid conflict.
The administration has said it wants to withdraw from the treaty because Russia is violating the pact, and images collected during flights can be obtained quickly and inexpensively from US or commercial satellites.
During the climate session discussions, Chinese President Xi Jinping, the world’s largest transmitter, said the G-20 should continue to take the lead in tackling climate change and pushing for it. full implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“Not long ago, I announced China’s initiative to increase its Nationally Determined Contributions and strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, ”he said. “China will honor its commitment and ensure its implementation.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “climate change must be tackled not in a vacuum, but in an integrated, comprehensive and holistic manner”.
Batrawy reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates