Obama: Paris climate pact still has a chance
Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday further criticized President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, while saying he believes the agreement still has a chance.
“Obviously I’m disappointed with the current American administration decision to put out of Paris,” Obama said during a speech at the Montreal Chamber of Commerce, according to The Associated Press.
“We’re going to have to act with more urgency. I’m looking forward to the United States being a leader and not just on the sidelines going forward,” he added.
Obama, who didn’t mention Trump by name in his speech, expressed optimism about states, cities and corporations carrying on with the Paris commitments despite the “temporary absence of American leadership.”
Obama slammed Trump’s announcement last week that the U.S. would back out of the agreement, which the Obama administration pushed to secure in 2015. Obama called the decision an abdication of U.S. leadership.
The landmark agreement, considered a hallmark of Obama’s efforts to combat climate change, was panned by many on the right. Trump argued leaving would help Rust Belt cities and deliver jobs to Americans.
Obama maintained Tuesday that “for all those jobs that were lost in coal, many multiples of jobs were gained in the solar industry but those didn’t get advertised.”
“History also shows there is a better way,” Obama said, according to the AP. “Canada shows, the United States, Europe, Japan show it is possible for us to overcome our fears and to reach across our divides.”