California leaders react to President Trump’s withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement

President Donald Trump speaks about the U.S. role in the Paris climate change accord, Thursday, June 1, 2017, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

 

SACRAMENTO (BCN) — Leaders from around the Bay Area and California have condemned President Donald Trump’s announcement Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale.

Referring specifically to the coal industry, Trump said the agreement doesn’t eliminate jobs, but rather it ships them overseas to “foreign countries.”

“The rest of the world applauded when we signed the Paris agreement,” Trump said. “They went wild, they were so happy.”

“For the simple reason that it put our country, the United States of America which we all love, at a very, very big economic disadvantage,” Trump said.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee released a statement Wednesday calling the move shortsighted and dangerous.

Bracing for Donald Trump’s decision on whether to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, environmental groups and states opposed to a withdrawal are publicly ramping up their arguments. (June 1)
Bracing for Donald Trump’s decision on whether to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, environmental groups and states opposed to a withdrawal are publicly ramping up their arguments. (June 1)

“Climate change is real, and it is one of our world’s greatest economic and health risks,” Lee said.

“In the absence of federal leadership, San Francisco will continue to take aggressive measures on climate change,” Lee said. “Our city is proof that strong action on climate change is good for the planet and good for business.”

Jack Broadbent, executive director of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, said Trump’s decision will significantly compromise the Paris accord.

“The move is likely to cause a ripple-effect that will destabilize global climate efforts,” Broadbent said.

“The stakes are tremendous for air quality and public health,” Broadbent said. “The effects of climate change are already being felt worldwide as global temperatures rise and catastrophic weather patterns are realized.”

Regardless, Broadbent said leadership in the Bay Area will continue to march forward despite a loss of focus and momentum at the national level.

California Lt. Gov. and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom also responded, saying that as one of the world’s largest economies, California will step into the vacuum created by Trump’s pullout, partnering with other regions and nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“In turning his back on the future, President Trump’s abandonment of the Paris Climate Change Deal demonstrates once again that he is void of basic business acumen, foresight and initiative,” Newsom said.

“Climate change is an existential threat,” Newsom said. “Every nation, region and community has interest and agency in rising to this challenge.”California Gov. Jerry Brown also released a statement on what he

California Gov. Jerry Brown also released a statement on what he referred to as the “White House’s reckless decision.””The president has already said climate change is a hoax, which is the exact opposite of virtually all scientific and worldwide opinion,” Brown said.

“I don’t believe fighting reality is a good strategy — not for America, not for anybody,” Brown said. “If the president is going to be AWOL in this profoundly important human endeavor, then California and other states
will step up.”

The agreement, reached by roughly 200 countries in 2015, sought to curb the catastrophic effects of global climate change by keeping the rise of average temperatures worldwide to no more than 2 degrees Celsius or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes effect in 2020.

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