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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The world watched as President Donald Trump decided to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord – a worldwide agreement to fight climate change.
“I am fighting everyday for the people of this country: therefore, in order to fulfill my duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord,” said President Trump. “But [we will] begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris Accord or an entirely new transaction.”
The president claims the cost to the economy would be close to $3 trillion in lost G.D.P. and it would cost 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025.
“Not only does this deal subject our citizens to harsh economic restrictions, it fails to live up to our environmental ideals,” said Trump. “The bottom line is that the Paris Accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States.”
The president painted a gloomy picture if the U.S. had stayed in saying that it “punishes the United States” and is a “massive redistribution of U.S. wealth to other countries.”
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” said Trump.
Trump said he heard arguments from both sides.
Pulling out means possibly putting the U.S. at odds with nearly every other country on Earth since 195 world leaders signed the agreement. The Paris Climate Accord was designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in hopes of slowing global warming.
Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had urged the president to withdraw and live up to this campaign rhetoric of promising to cancel the agreement. But some strong voices in the Trump administration pushed back, namely Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, daughter Ivanka and Top Economic Adviser Gary Cohn.
“You have promised to put America first in all that you do and you have done that,” said Pruitt after the announcement.
Trump discussed the agreement with European allies while attending the G-7 summit in Italy last week.
Pope Francis gave the president his encyclical on protecting the environment as well.
What’s more, 25 companies, including Microsoft and Intel, purchased a full-page ad in Thursday’s New York Times arguing “the agreement generates jobs and economic growth” and warning that withdrawing “could expose us to retaliatory measures.”
Around the country, local leaders pushed back.
“Jake this is a strategic mistake. It really sets us back,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo, talking to CNN.
“The European Union and the rest of the world is laughing at us. Laughing at us,” said Rep. Frederica Wilson.
That sums up the statements from the rest of our congressional delegation, except for Marco Rubio.
We called the senator’s office. They told CBS4 he did not have time to comment.
In March, 70 mayors and city leaders did comment by joining together to pen a letter to the president, urging him to stay in the agreement.
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine signed that letter. Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado plans to do so as well.
When we asked if Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez would sign the letter, he said the county’s stance on climate change is tougher than the Paris Agreement. He said he has signed stricter guidelines for pollution control.
“I don’t know what they signed. I know what I signed, which is we are going to have a sustainable and clean environment for our children and grandchildren,” he said.
City leaders are not alone in their efforts. The scientific community is sounding off.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk followed through on his threat to exit President Trump’s Business Advisory Council following the U.S. withdrawal.
The Paris Accord was adopted in December 2015. It is not a treaty but a voluntary commitment for nations to set and meet pollution reduction goals. More than 190 nations agreed to the framework and a taxing system to help poorer nations reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Syria and Nicaragua were the only two countries who did not sign on to the agreement.
In 2015, President Obama told Norah O’Donnell he considered it one of his most important achievements.
“You can’t build a border wall, when it comes to carbon emissions or global temperatures or the oceans,” said Obama back in December 2015.
In the past, President Trump has called global warming a hoax. He signed an executive order last March that lifts a 14-month-old moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands.