Paris Climate Agreement withdrawal sends shock waves across America

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-02 15:06:01|Editor: xuxin
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By Pete Mertz

DENVER, the United States, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement sent shock waves of dismay across the country.

In the hours that followed the announcement of the president's decision, more and more groups joined in the public outcry against pulling out of the 2015 treaty that was signed by more than 190 countries and promoted by former President Barack Obama.

Most notably, a host of large powerful businesses spoke out against Trump's move.

"Renewable energy is good business," said Rocky Mountain Institute managing director Jon Creyts.

"Moving away from fossil fuels saves billions of dollars in energy costs and it's disappointing to see this administration ignoring proven energy saving measures," Creyts told Xinhua Thursday afternoon.

With even oil giants such as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips expressing support for the Paris Agreement, Creyts said, it would be no surprise that more progressive companies jumped in to bash the president.

HP, Intel, and Amazon all released statements saying they believed climate change was real and they supported the Paris Agreement.

Microsoft President Brad Smith said he was "disappointed" with the decision and General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt said businesses could not depend on the government when it comes to climate change.

IBM released a statement that it would continue to "reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions and continue to help our clients do so as well."

It was no surprise that a number of American environmental groups rose up to condemn the decision, but the political fallout was more than pundits expected.

Across the world, political leaders reacted with dismay, and in America, the "Climate Mayors" issued an immediate response saying they "will adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement."

The 61 Mayors representing 36 million Americans said in a statement that they "will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities' current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy."

One of the first mayors to publicly denounce Trumps' withdrawal Thursday was Denver's Michael Hancock.

"Denver has been a leader in combating climate change and in growing the clean energy economy," Hancock said in a statement issued by his office.

"We will not back down from our commitment to address this global threat, and will continue the pledge to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement even in the absence of federal leadership," he said.

Climate Mayors include the cities of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Phoenix, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Seattle.

A majority of scientists say the planet will reach more dangerous levels of warming sooner as a result of Trump's decision, because America contributes hugely to carbon dioxide and global rising temperatures.

Calculations suggest that America's Paris departure could increase emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide in the air a year, enough to melt glaciers faster, raise ocean levels higher, and trigger extreme weather.

A handful of conservative groups applauded the decision.

"President Trump's decision sends a strong message to the environmentalist movement: no longer will the United States be strong-armed by their scare tactics intended to harm our economy and inhibit economic growth," said David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, said in a statement.

"Thankfully, we have a President in Donald Trump who is dedicated to keeping his promises and putting American workers and America first and we will be much better off as a country thanks to this courageous decision by the president," said Jenny Beth Martin, president of the Tea Party Patriots.

"The Paris Climate Agreement promises no measurable climate benefits at an incredible economic and political cost to Americans," said Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.