Sanders: Withdrawing from Paris deal an 'international disgrace'

Sanders: Withdrawing from Paris deal an 'international disgrace'
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDe Blasio headed to Iowa to speak at political fundraiser Yes, spills happen — but pipelines are still the safest way to move oil Why sexual harassment discussions include lawmakers talking about Bill Clinton’s past MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday slammed President Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord as an "international disgrace," calling on the U.S. to move forward in the fight against climate change "with or without" Trump's support.

"President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement is an abdication of American leadership and an international disgrace," Sanders said in a statement amid reports that Trump would back out of the 195-nation agreement.

"At this moment, when climate change is already causing devastating harm around the world, we do not have the moral right to turn our backs on efforts to preserve this planet for future generations," Sanders added.

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Trump is expected to announce on Thursday that the U.S. will leave the landmark international pact aimed at curbing carbon emissions globally and fighting the effects of climate change.

By withdrawing from the accord, Trump will fulfill a key campaign promise and deliver his firmest rebuke to date of the Obama administration's environmental policies.

But the U.S. withdrawal would likely significantly weaken the Paris deal and could prompt other countries to follow suit and pull out.

Sanders, a vocal critic of Trump's environmental policies, argued that the U.S. would have to play a leading role in fighting climate change and said that Americans would do so in spite of Trump's decision.

"The United States must play a leading role in the global campaign to stop climate change and transition rapidly away from fossil fuels to renewable and more efficient sources of energy," Sanders said. "We must do this with or without the support of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump Right way and wrong way Five things to know about the elephant trophies controversy MORE and the fossil fuel industry."