Former President Barack Obama reacted with disappointment to President Trump's announcement about withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement that Obama negotiated by saying the Trump administration now joins a "small handful of nations that reject the future."
"I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack," Obama said in a statement released by his office. "But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; 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."
Trump announced Thursday in the Rose Garden that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a pledge he made during the campaign. The agreement among 197 countries was reached in December 2015.
"A year and a half ago, the world came together in Paris around the first-ever global agreement to set the world on a low-carbon course and protect the world we leave to our children," Obama said of the deal.
"It was steady, principled American leadership on the world stage that made that achievement possible," Obama said. "It was bold American ambition that encouraged dozens of other nations to set their sights higher as well. And what made that leadership and ambition possible was America's private innovation and public investment in growing industries like wind and solar – industries that created some of the fastest new streams of good-paying jobs in recent years, and contributed to the longest streak of job creation in our history."
Withdrawing from the deal will take four years, but Trump said that all U.S. commitments to the deal, which he called "unfair" to the U.S., will end immediately.