Former Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday said the Paris Agreement will continue without the United States, but believes the country will remain committed to the climate deal.
Kerry, who signed the climate agreement in 2016, slammed President Trump's decision to pull out of the agreement on Thursday. "For the president of the United States, when he didn't need to, to unilaterally walk away from the agreement, he's aligned us with Syria and Nicaragua. By the way, Nicaragua wanted to do more. So, we're last not first," he said in an interview with NPR on Friday.
But the former secretary of state feels there is a silver lining in this situation, saying the American people will lead where Trump fails to do so. After speaking to Govs. Jerry Brown of California, Andrew Cuomo of New York, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, he said, "they are all committed to continue to do what they are doing now, which will meet the standards of the Paris Agreement. So, the American people will lead where the president of the United States has put America last."
Kerry, in a Facebook post Thursday, called Trump's decision an "abdication of responsibility."
"This is an unprecedented forfeiture of American leadership which will cost us influence, cost us jobs, and invite other countries to walk away from solving humanity's most existential crisis.
"It isolates the United States after we had united the world," he wrote.
He told NPR that it's a significant move, because the U.S. along with China "led the world to the Paris Agreement." Trump based his decision on "fake news, because he kept saying this a burden on the United States. No, that's not true. This is a standard that each country set for itself. No other country placed the burden on the United States or holds us accountable. All the president had to say was I don't like the burden, I'm going to change it."
Trump stated that the Paris climate agreement gave other nations such as China and India a financial advantage and could cost the U.S. up to 2.7 million jobs lost by 2025. "No. That's just not true," Kerry shot back in an interview with CBS Thursday.
Kerry said, "The fastest growing job in America, the biggest single job is wind turbine technician. 2.6 million clean energy jobs have been created in America and guess what, half of them, 50 percent, are in states that Donald Trump won. He's going to hurt those people. He's going to hurt those states. America is going to lose economic leadership in this."
Kerry said Trump made a political move to cater to the "now-ideological interests of a narrow base of his party." He told NPR, "really, it's one of the most disastrous, shallow, untruthful decisions a president of the United States has made in my lifetime.
"It's a great betrayal of the trust of the presidency and of the leadership that is needed right now to deal with climate change," he said. "This is why intelligent, thoughtful governors in the country have already stood up and said we are going to live by Paris. And I believe the American people want to live by Paris."