President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Accord on Thursday after much speculation that the president would do just that.
In an address from the White House’s Rose Garden, Trump decried those laughing at America.
“At what point does America get demeaned?” he asked. “At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?”
“We want fair treatment,” Trump demanded. “We don’t want other countries and other leaders to laugh at us anymore.”
Though the lead-up to his decision was widely criticized — even by daughter Ivanka Trump, who purportedly lobbied to remain in the Accord — Trump did not back down in his stance that America comes first.
“I was elected by the citizens of Pittsburgh,” Trump said, “not Paris.”
“We’re getting out,” he said about the Accord. “And we will start to renegotiate and we’ll see if there’s a better deal. If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”
Calling the current implementation of carbon reduction targets set under the Obama administration costly, Trump claimed that though he “cares deeply” about the environment, he refuses to go forward with a “deal which punishes the United States.”
Seeming to politicize climate change, Trump said, “This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”
On Wednesday, Tesla’s Elon Musk threatened the Trump administration that if the president decided the United States should leave the Paris Accord, Musk would resign his duties from several of the president’s advisory councils.
When Musk was asked on Twitter what his response would be if the president decided to pull the U.S. out of the agreement, he said, “Will have no choice but to depart councils in that case.”
“Don’t know which way Paris will go, but I’ve done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in WH & via councils, that we remain,” he added.
Just after the president made the announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the Accord, Musk tweeted, “Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”
The Paris Accord, a climate agreement, was opened for signature on Earth Day 2016, and to date, representatives of 195 countries worldwide have signed the accord, and the agreement went into effect in November 2016.
It addresses and analyzes greenhouse gas emissions and is set to “combat climate change and adapt to its effects.”
See the president’s full remarks in the video below.