Kerry to Trump: Paris agreement not some quick 'real estate deal'

Kerry to Trump: Paris agreement not some quick 'real estate deal'
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Former Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryHow the US could help Australia develop climate action Equilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — Clean power repurposes dirty power No. 2 State Department official to travel to China amid tensions MORE hit President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement as “political” and one that “forfeited American leadership” on climate change.

The agreement, Kerry said, was “not a real estate deal that transpired in a matter of days or weeks or even months,” noting the lengthy negotiations that went into the deal.

“No burden was placed on the United States other than what we in United States defined for ourselves,” Kerry said, pushing back on Trump’s contention that the agreement is unfair to the U.S.

“The president didn’t have to pull out. That was political. All he had to do was say: ‘I want to change the targets a little bit.’ Instead, he forfeited American leadership, he put at risk the momentum has been created and he said to the American people, ‘I’m buying into the denial hoax.'”


Kerry was secretary of State when the United Nations agreed to the Paris deal in 2015. He signed the agreement on the Obama administration’s behalf the following April. 

Trump said in June he would pull the United States out of the agreement and instead try to negotiate a better agreement for the country. Several administration officials have reiterated that position this week during the United Nations General Assembly.

Kerry was speaking Wednesday at an event with Democratic governors announcing a new report that shows 14 states plus Puerto Rico are on track to reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions by 24 percent to 29 percent by 2025, putting them on track to hit their share of the U.S. goal in the Paris agreement.