On 1 June 2017 US President Donald Trump announced that the USA will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. The USA is leaving the agreement as one of the largest emitters. President Trump announced he would “begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris Accord or a really entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States… And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.”
US Secretary-General António Guterres called the USA’s decision to withdraw from Paris Agreement on Climate Change a major disappointment for global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote global security.
The Secretary-General remained optimistic that cities, states and businesses within the United States - along with other countries - will continue to demonstrate vision and leadership by working for the low-carbon, resilient economic growth that will create quality jobs and markets for twenty-first century prosperity. He emphasised that it is crucial that the United States remains a leader on environmental issues.
The announcement of the USA’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement was met with broad incomprehension. For example, Bernd Bornhorst, Chairman of the Board of VENRO (Verband Entwicklungspolitik und Humanitäre Hilfe - umbrella organisation of development and humanitarian aid NGOs in Germany) stated:
“With the withdrawal of the USA from the Convention on Climate Change, Trump has finally entered the post-factual era. This announcement is a bitter blow to global climate protection and the efforts of the international community to find solutions together to the greatest problem in human history.
This makes it all the more important for the other industrialised nations to implement ambitious plans to actually achieve the goals agreed in Paris. The very welcome clear commitments by the European Union and the G20 nations following Trump’s announcement to withdraw must now be followed by deeds.”