In a move that pretty much nobody outside his immediate circle supported, Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement and the world is kind of not okay. If you don’t know what that means, we’ll break it down real quick. The Paris Agreement on climate change is a document signed by every country in the world (except for Nicaragua and Syria) that commits to making changes to lower greenhouse gas emissions. It is the largest environmental deal in history and basically just means we all agree not to irreversibly damage the planet by polluting all over it.
Donald Trump believes that the agreement is unfair to the U.S. and will require eliminating crucial American jobs in coal and oil. The second part of that is true, but it has been proven that there are far more jobs available in clean energy, so dropping coal will negatively effect the economy. Oh, wait, but it will effect big businesses and oil companies. We see what you did there, Donald.
The president said he is open to reentering the Paris deal if it were to be renegotiated with the United States in mind.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2017
So how is the world responding to this? Seems people are not happy. Politicians and world leaders have expressed their disappointment in the president and reiterated their commitments to the deal. Justin Trudeau had a personal conversation with Trump just hours after his announcement, expressing his own disappointment in the decision.
He said in a statement, ‘While the U.S. decision is disheartening, we remain inspired by the growing momentum around the world to combat climate change and transition to clean growth economies.’
‘We are all custodians of this world, and that is why Canada will continue to work with the U.S. at the state level… to address climate change and promote clean growth,’ he continued, ‘We will also continue to reach out to the U.S. federal government to discuss this matter of critical importance for all humankind.’
Please read my statement on the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement: https://t.co/KHm4q80Uc0
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 1, 2017
France, Germany and Italy issued a joint statement later in the day that expressed regret at Trump’s decision, but dismissed the idea that the agreement could be renegotiated. The three world leaders also urged other countries to increase their green efforts and help developing countries to reach their own goals. Our new favourite international sensation, French president Emmanuel Macron, said in a speech Thursday night that they are committed to making the planet great again. Savage.
We all share the same responsibility: make our planet great again. pic.twitter.com/IIWmLEtmxj
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 1, 2017
Around the world, famous landmarks, even buildings in Trump’s hometown of New York City, lit up green in solidarity and commitment to the environment.
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) June 2, 2017
PHOTO: Paris’ city hall shines green in support of the climate deal. pic.twitter.com/LpF2z1nsw1
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) June 1, 2017
— C40 Cities (@c40cities) June 2, 2017
Groups also flocked to the White House for pro-Paris protests to express their displeasure. Also in attendance, Bill Nye, who has been very vocal about his distaste for Donald Trump and commitment to combating climate change.
— John Henry (@JohnHenryWUSA) June 1, 2017
Shoutout to the guy in the full body polar bear suit at the White House climate protest. It’s 82 degrees. pic.twitter.com/Onrq56BkJf
— David Wright (@DavidWright_CNN) June 1, 2017
Another encouraging response has come from some of the high-profile CEOs in Trump’s White House advisory council–the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum–which he put in place to advise him about the climate of American business and report on job growth. Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, and Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, have both resigned from the council and it is possible others may follow.
As a matter of principle, I’ve resigned from the President’s Council over the #ParisAgreement withdrawal.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) June 1, 2017
Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017
Tesla’s Elon Musk has just resigned over Paris withdrawal.
Let’s pressure other CEOs on Trump’s business advisory council to do the same pic.twitter.com/EQwlZliiMs
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) June 1, 2017
As terrifying as it is that the president of the United States does not appear to believe in climate change or care about any part of the world other than America, there is hope. This is an opportunity for other countries to reaffirm their commitment to stopping climate change and creating renewable energy jobs. It might also create a stronger alliance between the countries involved in the Paris deal and encourage more cooperation among them. Plus, if nothing else, it means we’re talking about climate change again. We can all do our part, even if Trump has decided that the U.S. isn’t going to do theirs.