President Donald Trump has finally pulled the United States out of the climate change agreement signed in 2015.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Trump described the agreement as a “massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries”.
The Us leader had promised to withdraw from the deal during the buildup to his election.
“In order to fulfil my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord, or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its tax-payers,” he said.
“So we’re getting out. But we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair.
“And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.”
In his response, Barrack Obama, Trump’s predecessor, said his country was rejecting the future.
“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created,” he said in a statement.
“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.”
Syria and Nicaragua were the countries which refused to sign the deal in 2015.
The Paris deal is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.
A total of 195 countries, including Nigeria, negotiated the agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris, and it was adopted by consensus on December 12, 2015.