Donald Trump has defended the withdrawal of the Paris climate change agreement, saying it was “designed to kill the US economy” and that he acted to save “millions” of jobs.
The US president announced his country’s withdrawal from the deal in June 2017, saying it was “punishing” the US coal industry and risking countless jobs.
The move has sparked consternation among many world leaders and climate change activists.
However, the withdrawal did not officially take place until early this month.
The landmark 2015 deal, reached under President Obama, aims to keep the increase in global temperature this century “well below” 2 ° C above pre-industrial levels and to continue efforts to limit further increasing the temperature to 1.5 ° C.
What is the Paris Agreement?
Speaking at the G20 World Leaders’ Meeting – hosted virtually by Saudi Arabia, Mr Trump said: “To protect American workers, I pulled the United States out of the Paris agreement on the unfair and one-sided climate – a very unfair act for the United States.
“The Paris agreement was not designed to save the environment, it was designed to kill the US economy.
“I refused to give up millions of American jobs and send billions of US dollars to the world’s worst polluters and environmental offenders.
However, the president also said his administration has made “environmental stewardship” a “sacred obligation”.
He said the United States has made significant progress over the past four years to ensure that the country has “the purest air and water on the planet.”
Mr Trump’s actions and justification for leaving the deal were rejected by US President-elect Joe Biden, who said he would join the deal as soon as he took office.
The president remains in charge of the United States for the next two months, until Mr. Biden’s scheduled inauguration on January 20.
His various court challenges over the election result – where he claims a foul play without providing evidence – have so far proved unsuccessful.
Kick in the tall grass? Trump plays golf
Video showed him golfing on Saturday as some of the world’s most powerful leaders took part in a G20 session on the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Trump tweeted on Sunday that he attended yesterday’s meeting early and delivered a speech.
The President attended the morning session, but was playing golf in Sterling, Va. When the afternoon panel took place.
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