On Thursday, Donald Trump announced that he will be withdrawing the United States' support for the Paris Agreement, a unifying accord between almost 200 nations to combat climate change and global warming
Trump also announced he will begin negotiations to either "re-enter either the Paris accord or really entirely new transaction" that is more "fair" the US and its economy.
"As president, I can put no other consideration before the well-being of American citizens. The Paris climate accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries," he said.
According to WIRED, Trump has famously stated that climate change is a "hoax". He has also openly criticised and promised to reverse President Obama's green energy policies throughout his presidential campaign.
The Paris Agreement marked a historic turning point for the global response towards climate change when world leaders from 195 countries united for the first time in history, pledging to curb global warming by lowering emissions
With its exit, the US joins Syria and Nicaragua as the only three countries who are not participating in the accord.
Trump's announcement has since been widely criticised (and even subtly shaded) by his fellow heads of state, politicians, and even his former high-profile advisers:
1. Calling the decision a "mistake", French President Emmanuel Macron concluded his speech by using Trump's infamous campaign slogan against him
"It is not a future we want for ourselves, it is not a future we want for our children, it is not a future we want for our world," he said in an impromptu conference following Trump's announcement. Macron also called on scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and citizens who are disappointed with US' decision to continue working on concrete climate solutions in France.
Then Macron threw some pretty epic shade at Trump, concluding his speech with, "Make the planet great again."
2. In a response specifically referring to the "US federal government", Canadian PM Justin Trudeau maintains that they will "remain inspired by the growing momentum around the world to combat climate change"
3. Despite Trump's wishes to renegotiate the accord, the leaders of Italy, France, and Germany have insisted that the terms of the Paris Agreement are non-negotiable
"We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies," Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron said in a rare joint statement.
4. Former POTUS Barack Obama, who considered the Paris Climate Accord one of his highest achievements, remains confident that states and cities will continue pursuing a low-carbon future "even in the absence of American leadership"
Read Obama's full statement:
"A year and a half ago, the world came together in Paris around the first-ever global agreement to set the world on a low-carbon course and protect the world we leave to our children.
It was steady, principled American leadership on the world stage that made that achievement possible. It was bold American ambition that encouraged dozens of other nations to set their sights higher as well. And what made that leadership and ambition possible was America’s private innovation and public investment in growing industries like wind and solar – industries that created some of the fastest new streams of good-paying jobs in recent years, and contributed to the longest streak of job creation in our history.
Simply put, the private sector already chose a low-carbon future. And for the nations that committed themselves to that future, the Paris Agreement opened the floodgates for businesses, scientists, and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation on an unprecedented scale.
The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created. I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got."
5. Mayors from 82 US cities have banded together and pledged to "adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement"
"We will continue to lead. We are increasing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We will buy and create more demand for electric cars and trucks. We will increase our efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create a clean energy economy, and stand for environmental justice.
And if the President wants to break the promises made to our allies enshrined in the historic Paris Agreement, we’ll build and strengthen relationships around the world to protect the planet from devastating climate risks," said the Climate Mayors in an open letter condemning Trump's decision.
6. Three of the US' biggest states - California, New York, and Washington - have also come together to form the United States Climate Alliance
Formed by state governors Jay Inslee of Washington, Andrew Cuomo of New York, and Jerry Brown of California on 1 June, the Alliance pledges to uphold the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change within their borders.
By the end of 1 June, seven more states have joined the Alliance, namely Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
7. When announcing his decision, Trump said he was "elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris." Well, the mayor of Pittsburgh begs to differ.
In fact, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won Pittsburgh with 80% of the vote. Although Trump did win the Texas county that include Paris by 78%... :)
Representative Mike Doyle, a representative of Pittsburgh, tweeted that "Leaving the Paris Accord sacrifices US leadership on #climatechange and hurts our economy. It’s backward, nearsighted and just idiotic."
In a statement, Doyle also said, "President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement shows that he doesn’t understand the research on climate change and the impact it will have.
Today’s reversal on the Paris Agreement is foolhardy and incredibly disappointing. President Trump clearly doesn’t understand the Paris treaty – and he certainly doesn’t understand my district." You can read the full statement here.
8. Tearing into Trump for not fulfilling his top priority to "protect the people", former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger urged citizens to "rise up" and start a clean energy revolution themselves
"One man cannot destroy our progress, one man can’t stop our clean energy revolution, one man can’t go back in time... Only I can do that," said 'The Terminator' star.
9. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, quit two of the president's business advisory councils shortly after Trump announced his decision
10. So has Disney CEO Bob Iger, citing his resignation as a "matter of principle"
"Protecting our planet and driving economic growth are critical to our future, and they aren't mutually exclusive," Iger said in a statement.
"I deeply disagree with the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement."