Donald Trump spent 131 days contemplating what life would be like if the United States left the Paris climate agreement. Ultimately, he seemed to like what he saw, and followed his gut.
On Thursday, the president made official his long-rumored decision to withdraw the United States from the 195-nation accord.
Speaking outside the White House, Trump fulfilled a campaign promise to remove the United States from the landmark deal aimed at curbing climate-altering emissions and keeping global warming below a threshold — two degrees Celsius above the global temperature before humans began burning fossil fuels — at which the worst consequences of climate change are believed by the scientific community to take hold. (The Post’s Philip Rucker and Jenna Johnson have the main story here.)
A wide swath of heads of state, top scientists and business leaders immediately condemned the decision. But in a Rose Garden speech, Trump said withdrawal was necessary for U.S. economic security.
“I am fighting every day for the great people of this country,” he said. “Therefore, in order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord.”
For roughly 25 minutes, Trump laid out his rationale for withdrawal. Some of this made sense — some coal jobs, for example, will indeed be saved by eliminating the Clean Power Plan, one of President Obama’s main efforts at meeting the Paris commitment.
But many of the other reasons Trump gave for withdrawing seemed at their best strained and at their worst unfounded.
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