Obama: Trump should not end Paris climate agreement

Obama: Trump should not end Paris climate agreement
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President Obama on Monday defended the landmark Paris climate deal that President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report MORE has threatened to tear up once he takes office next year.

At a Monday press conference, Obama made the case for the U.S. to stay in the international agreement, calling it an important way to convince other nations to work on climate change the way he has during his administration. 


That work, he said, has “made our economy more efficient, it’s helped the bottom line of folks and it's cleaned up the environment.”

He said the Paris agreement “says to China and India and other counties that are potentially polluting: come on board. Let’s work together so you guys can do the same thing.”

Trump opposes the climate deal, an international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. He says the pact is unfair to the United States because the Obama administration intends to cut American emissions in real terms, while emerging economies like China’s continue to expand their pollution, but at a slower pace. 

Trump has pledged not only to end the Paris agreement once he’s in office, but also indicated he’ll aim to grow fossil fuel industries.

Trump cannot formally end the Paris deal because it took effect earlier this month. However, he’s reportedly looking for ways out, and since the deal isn’t binding, he can effectively ignore Obama’s stated goals and pursue his own course. 

But Obama said that’s not the right approach.

He warned that, with international agreements such as Paris, or the Iran nuclear accord, “the tradition has been you carry them forward across the administrations, particularly if once you actually examine them, they’re doing good for us and binding other countries into behavior that will help us.”