President Trump spoke on the phone Thursday with leaders from Germany, France, Canada and the United Kingdom to explain his decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.
"The president personally explained his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord," the White House said in a statement Thursday of Trump's conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
"He thanked all four leaders for holding frank, substantive discussions on this issue during his first months in office," the White House said. "He also reassured the leaders that America remains committed to the Transatlantic alliance and to robust efforts to protect the environment."
All four allies support the Paris climate pact, which would have committed the U.S. to hit an emissions reduction target in the next five years and to set another, more ambitious goal for the five years after that. Proponents of the deal have suggested the withdrawal will hurt U.S. relationships around the world, while opponents of the agreement have argued it binds the country to terms that harm the American economy while allowing other economies to develop their energy resources more freely.
Some of the leaders who spoke with Trump on Thursday expressed their displeasure with the president's decision to scrap the commitments his predecessor made in the climate deal.
"We are deeply disappointed that the United States federal government has decided to withdraw from the Paris agreement," Trudeau said in a statement. "Canada is unwavering in our commitment to fight climate change and support clean economic growth. Canadians know we need to take decisive and collective action to tackle the many harsh realities of our changing climate."
Macron called Trump's move a "mistake."
The White House noted Thursday that Trump reminded foreign leaders about America's "strong record in reducing emissions and leading the development of clean energy technology."
During an appearance alongside Trump in the Rose Garden, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said the U.S. would turn its attention to sharing its clean energy technology with other countries.