×

Former President Obama says withdrawing from climate accord will mean loss of new jobs and industries

  • Paris accord will spur new industries and jobs, said former President Obama
  • Businesses, states and cities will step up to lead the way, Obama said

Removing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement will cost the country new jobs and industries, said former President Barack Obama on Thursday.

"The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created," Obama said, in a statement. "I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack."

However, Obama also said he is 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."

Here is the 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.

President Donald Trump said Thursday that the U.S. plans to withdraw from the landmark climate deal, and will initiate talks to forge a new agreement.

At issue, Trump said, is striking a deal that will have terms that are "fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers."

For example, the president cited targets for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions that he believes are unrealistic.

The U.S. technically cannot pull out of the Paris Agreement until November 2019, and the U.S. must give a year's notice before it can take steps to withdraw. This means the changes Trump proposes cannot take effect until 2020, although reports suggest there are ways to speed up the process.

Proponents of U.S. participation in the agreement have argued that the commitment to reduce carbon pollution would spur new investments in "green" technologies, such as solar and wind power generation, energy efficiency and alternative transportation.