CNN host: Paris withdrawal signals US 'retiring from world leadership'

CNN host Fareed Zakaria says President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris accord on climate change signals the "United States is sort of retiring" from its role as a global leader.

“Backing out of what is really the signature global cooperation agreement right now sends a signal that the United States is sort of retiring from world leadership,” Zakaria said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” Wednesday night.

Trump made his formal announcement about pulling out of the agreement Thursday afternoon in the White House Rose Garden. 

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Zakaria said the U.S. has benefitted from leading the efforts against global challenges for 70 years. 

“Its been incredibly beneficial to the United States, because it means that the rules of the road are written with the American interests firmly in mind,” he said.

Zakaria also said this decision will hurt U.S. initiatives to make clean energy sources going forward.

“So we would lose a lot of that energy and initiative that is really making the United States dominate these clean, increasingly cheap sources of energy for the future,” he said, pointing to the increasing number of solar jobs compared to coal jobs. 

Withdrawing from the climate agreement could have unforeseen consequences, with Paris agreement supporters saying it will leave the U.S. isolated and cut out of international efforts to curb global warming. The Paris accord involves almost every other country in the world — except Nicaragua and Syria.

The earliest date the U.S. can pull out of the Paris accord, under the rules of the agreement, is Nov. 4, 2020, one day after the next presidential election. 

Trump's decision has also reportedly united European Union and Chinese leaders, who have vowed to continue their commitment to the climate pact.