Washington : President Donald Trump on Friday declared that the US will withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord, saying the "draconian" deal unfairly punished America but benefited countries like India and China, drawing strong condemnation from across the world.
"I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," Trump said, immediately triggering global condemnation on the move by the world's second-biggest emitter of greenhouse gasses.
"As president, I have one obligation, and that obligation is to the American people. The Paris Accord would undermine our economy, hamstring our workers, weaken our sovereignty, impose unacceptable legal risks, and put us at a permanent disadvantage to the other countries of the world," he said from the Rose Garden at the White House.
"It is time to exit the Paris Accord and time to pursue a new deal that protects the environment, our companies, our citizens, and our country," Trump said while announcing the sweeping step that fulfils a campaign promise while acutely dampening global efforts to curb global warming.
"We're getting out," he said. "And we will start to renegotiate and we'll see if there's a better deal. If we can, great. If we can't, that's fine."
The Paris agreement commits the US and other countries to keeping rising global temperatures "well below" 2°C above pre- industrial levels and "endeavour to limit" them even more, to 1.5°C. Only Syria and Nicaragua did not sign up to the deal.
He said he made the decision as the Paris deal was unfair to the US. He said India would get billions of dollars for meeting its commitment under the Paris agreement and it — along with China — would double its coal-fired power plants in the years to come, gaining a financial advantage over the US.