Landrieu: climate change affects us all

President Trump announced Thursday that he will pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate deal, despite concerns from top CEOs and international leaders.

Although Trump announced the withdrawal from the agreement, he is still open to negotiating an alternative climate deal. 

"In order to fulfill 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 with terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers," Trump said.

"We will see if we can make a deal that's fair." But that prospect led to a swift joint statement from France, Germany, and Italy who said the accord can't be renegotiated. 

The move did not necessarily come as a surprise-- reports on Wednesday indicated Trump intended to leave the agreement.

In his announcement, Trump said he feels a duty to represent Americans in pulling out of the agreement.

"I was elected by voters of Pittsburgh, not Paris," he said.  

Following Trump's remarks, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto responded on Twitter, saying the city will continue to follow the guidelines of the climate agreement. 

Pittsburgh's mayor was not the only local leader to speak out against the move. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued the following statement Thursday:

“Climate change is a threat that affects us all, and it is a real and present danger to our coastal communities. Here in Louisiana, we face a triple threat: subsidence, coastal erosion and sea level rise. If unchecked, New Orleans, like many coastal cities, will cease to exist. The Paris Agreement remains the world’s greatest weapon to combat this existential threat. Although the Trump administration questions the facts of climate change, we must not waver. As mayors on the front lines of leadership, we need to keep our commitment to our communities and to each other, working together to transition to a low-carbon economy that not only helps manage our climate risk, but also creates new businesses, jobs, and wealth.

“One of New Orleans’ most urgent threats is climate change, and with it, more extreme heat and potential sea level rise that could engulf our city. If global temperature rises unchecked, New Orleans will not see another 300 years. Already we are seeing more coastal loss than anywhere else in the U.S. and among the fastest in the world. It is not enough to plan for how we will adapt to climate change. We must end our contribution to it.

“As the world committed
totake action, New Orleans did, too. In December 2015, I stood with 464 mayors from more than 115 countries at the COP21 as we committed to combat this most existential threat of climate change in our cities. I signed the Global Covenant of Mayors on Climate and Energy, adding New Orleans to the team of more than 7,400 cities in 119 countries worldwide committed to taking climate action.

“Time is of the essence in combatting this critical existential threat, and our coastal city is on the front line. We must take action to slow climate change in coordination with cities around our nation and the world.”

Trump’s decision is considered by some a win for Republicans and pulls the U.S.-- the second-largest producer of carbon dioxide -- out of a nearly 200-nation agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Paris agreement works to curb global greenhouse gas emissions. 

CEOs from Apple, Facebook, and Google all urged President Trump to support the pact.

Staying true to his word, innovative powerhouse Elon Musk announced he would leave the president's council in response to the announcement. 

Musk had threatened to do so prior to Trump's announcement. 

Before Trump even finished his full address, President Obama issued a statement opposing the withdrawal. 

Last fall, Obama hailed the agreement as a "turning point for our planet."

"The administration is joining a small handful of nations that reject the future," Obama said in the statement. 

"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."

Energy Secretary Rick Perry praised Trump's decision. 

"The U.S. will continue to be a leader in energy technology, development & delivery," he wrote in a tweet. 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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