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Obama: Trump rejects future by pulling out of Paris climate pact

Former President Obama blasted President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate deal, calling it an abdication of leadership, moments before his successor made it official.

Obama also argued the U.S. would be an economic loser because of Trump’s decision in a statement released as Trump told the world of his decision with remarks from the White House garden.

“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created,” Obama said. “I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack.”

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The Paris agreement negotiated and signed under the Obama administration was considered a hallmark of the former president’s efforts to combat climate change.

Trump’s decision to withdraw from it continues his efforts to erase much of the Obama legacy.

In this case, Obama said he hoped that states, cities and U.S. businesses would essentially block Trump’s actions by seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on their own.

“But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got."

Syria and Nicaragua are the only two other countries that are not a part of the 195-nation deal.

In making his case for leaving the agreement, Trump argued it would help Rust Belt cities and deliver more jobs to the United States. He also said the deal negotiated by Obama treated the United States unfairly, and that it effectively transferred coal jobs to other nations.