US to withdraw from Paris climate change accord

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SIGNING: Former US secretary of state John Kerry signs the accord with his granddaughter on his knee

WORLD leaders have reacted with anger and dismay after President Donald Trump announced that the US will withdraw from the Paris climate change deal.

At a White House press conference Trump said it was his “solemn duty to protect America and its citizens” and the US will “cease all implementation” of the accord as of Thursday.

Trump argued that the Paris Accord “is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”

The US currently accounts for more than 15% of the worldwide total of greenhouse gas emissions – and only China exceeds it.

Trump had vowed to cancel the Paris accord within 100 days of becoming president on 20 January.

He said: “I am fighting every day for the great people of this country.

“Therefore, in order to fulfil my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

“But begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction.

“We’re getting out, but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair.”

According a Downing Street statement Theresa May has told the President of her “disappointment” and reiterated Britain’s commitment to the deal.

In France President Emmanuel Macron, in a rare live televised statement, said: “The US has turned its back on the world.

“France will not turn its back on Americans,” he said.

“I do respect President Trump’s decision but I think it’s a mistake for our planet.”

Under the accord nations voluntarily committed to take steps aimed at curbing global emissions of greenhouse gases.

In the 195-nation accord agreed in Paris in 2015 only Syria and Nicaragua are non-participants. Syria was unable to send an official to sign the accord because of the civil war and Nicaragua chose not to sign because it felt the agreement did not go far enough.

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