June 1 marks year since US announced pullout of Paris agreement

World Today

A year ago President Trump announced his intent to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement.

Many U.S. states and American businesses have stepped up their commitments.

CGTN’s Daniel Ryntjes reports.

“So we’re getting out and we will start to negotiate and see if we can make a deal that’s fair,” said Donald Trump President of the United States.

The United States can’t technically withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate agreement until November 4, 2020.

Just a few days after his announcement last year, Trump provided a video message at the opening of the Acosta coal mine in Pennsylvania, pledging to “Make Coal Great Again.”

“As you all know and you all saw, we have withdrawn the United States from the horrendous Paris climate accord,” said Donald Trump President of the United States.

One of the architects of the Paris climate deal was Todd Stern.

He was the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change under President Obama.

“The whole sense of things from the senior levels of the Trump administration is to be not interested in climate change and to not intending to stay in Paris, so that has a very damaging impact,” said Todd Stern the former U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change.

The United States has stopped contributing to the Green Climate Fund, designed to help developing countries respond to the climate change challenges.

Over the past year, a coalition of 17 United States governors has formed, including those from California, New York, and Virginia. This “United States Climate Alliance” is working to maintain many other Paris commitments.

When combined, they represent 40% of the U.S. population, an economic block larger than all other countries, except the U.S. and China.

The importance of the work that the states are doing has only been amplified since the announcement. It gave us kind of a galvanizing point and there’s so much excitement at the state level in terms of investing in our green energy economy, growing new businesses around resiliency,” said Angela Navarro the Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the State of Virginia.

Many large American corporations have also signed up to a coalition named “We Are Still In,” that continues to abide by the 2015 climate pact, including a firm that has now become the largest private consumer of renewable energy, Google.

When President Trump announced the withdrawal, the response from climate activists was instantaneous.