On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced he would be withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Pact. The decision immediately sparked an outrage from both political parties, as well as from foreign leaders.
In short, the Paris Climate Pact is an agreement signed by 196 nations who acknowledge the urgent threat of climate change, according to NPR. The nations that have entered the pact agree that the issue of climate change is not one that can be solved individually, but rather with cooperation by all countries, NPR reports.
The consequences of the U.S., one of the world's most powerful countries, leaving the pact could be severe. So severe, in fact, that former President Barack Obama released a statement hours after President Trump made the announcement. In true Obama style, he gracefully never mentioned Trump’s name, simply referring to an “absence of American leadership,” according to The Washington Post.
Read Obama’s full statement below:
“A year and a half ago, the world came together in Paris around the first-ever global agreement to set the world on a low-carbon course and protect the world we leave to our children.
“It was steady, principled American leadership on the world stage that made that achievement possible. It was bold American ambition that encouraged dozens of other nations to set their sights higher as well. And what made that leadership and ambition possible was America’s private innovation and public investment in growing industries like wind and solar — industries that created some of the fastest new streams of good-paying jobs in recent years, and contributed to the longest streak of job creation in our history.
“Simply put, the private sector already chose a low-carbon future. And for the nations that committed themselves to that future, the Paris Agreement opened the floodgates for businesses, scientists, and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation on an unprecedented scale. The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created. I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. 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.”
It's good to hear your words again, Mr. Obama. We miss you.