U.S. Withdrawal from Paris Agreement a ‘Disaster’

Kevin Rudd on BBC World

On June 1, 2017, ASPI President Kevin Rudd spoke on BBC World about President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, calling the move a “disaster” not only for the United States, but for the planet.

Rudd rejected President Trump’s argument that the withdrawal would save jobs in the U.S. coal industry, adding that the real threat to coal is “shell gas, LNG, as well as renewables, because people are moving in those directions anyway.” “To assume somehow there’s going to be some coal renaissance as a consequence of American withdrawal from Paris I think is just dead wrong,” Rudd emphasized.

For Rudd, the United States withdrawal at this time is “a total irony.” Having worked for years to get countries like China and India to step up their climate commitments, the United States is backing out of an agreement which finally got these emitters to come “on board.” With the United States receding from global climate leadership, Rudd said the world will now look to a “new triumvirate” of President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and President Xi Jinping of China” to lead the charge. Within the United States, “responsibility will now fall to state governments, municipal governments,” and “corporations,” Rudd stated. (6 min., 23 sec.)

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