The chief executive officer of General Electric responded to President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement on Thursday, flatly stating, "Climate change is real."
"Disappointed with today’s decision on the Paris Agreement. Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government," GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt wrote on Twitter minutes after Trump announced his decision.
Disappointed with today’s decision on the Paris Agreement. Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.— Jeff Immelt (@JeffImmelt) June 1, 2017
Immelt's call echoed that of former President Barack Obama and other leaders who said Trump's decision marked an abdication of government leadership and argued that companies and state and local governments would have to step up to the plate on climate change.
Trump vowed on the campaign trail to pull out of the 195-nation agreement. Only two other countries, Syria and Nicaragua, are not part of the pact.
Trump has, in the past, denied climate change and at one point suggested that it was a hoax created by China to make U.S. manufacturing less competitive.
“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” Trump said Thursday afternoon in a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.
“The bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States,” Trump said.
The president added he will “begin negotiations to re-enter — whether the Paris accord, or really, an entirely new transaction — on terms that are fairer to the United States, its business, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.
“We are getting out, but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that is fair.”