Durham, Chapel Hill mayors commit to Paris agreement

The announcement has received criticism from many parts of the world, with environmental campaigners saying American absence will make it considerable harder for the remaining countries to reach their agreed goals, given that the USA was responsible for about 15 percent of global emissions of carbon and promised 3 billion US dollars to help other countries.

"If the president would read it, if he would gain knowledge about what he's talking about, he would understand that this is not an obstacle to us going forward". In St Petersburg, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not directly comment on the U.S. decision but said India was committed to protecting the climate.

"At what point does America get demeaned?"

The three states already belong to an emissions reduction pact of states and cities worldwide, but yesterday's action marked a direct stand against the Trump administration and a formal commitment to upholding the targets of the Paris agreement. The figure represents the US commitment to the climate agreement. Trump promised during his campaign to bring back coal mining jobs.

Earlier France, Germany and Italy had issued a joint statement saying the Paris deal can not be renegotiated.

It is no surprise that Trump has reneged on the United States' commitment to the deal. Climate change is real.

"The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make USA manufacturing non-competitive", he infamously tweeted in 2012. It overlooked the fact that the Paris Agreement itself was a result of U.S. not being happy with Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 climate agreement that is set to now expire in 2020. Tillerson, a former Exxon Mobil CEO, had urged Trump not to abandon the deal but was ultimately overruled.

But there was a silver lining to Trump's decision.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Trump's decision 'extremely regrettable, and that's putting it mildly'. Immelt tweeted: "Disappointed with today's decision on the Paris Agreement. There is no backsliding on the Paris agreement", Juncker said. Bill McKibben, co-founder and senior advisor at 350.org, said the deal gave countries too much time to transition away from fossil fuels, leaving open the possibility of "endless climate damage". But fact checkers had a field day with Trump's justification: his claim (against all evidence to the contrary) that the treaty imposes "onerous energy restrictions" on the USA that would beget "lost jobs, lowered wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production".

But Mr. Trump's withdrawal from the Paris pact wasn't entirely without support.

But Symons holds out hope that Trump's move will spur climate-related activism.

Musk said Wednesday that he had "done all I can" - as a member of the advisory councils, through White House personnel and directly with the president - to push Trump to stick with the President Obama-era plan. "The country will wake up tomorrow and realize that the responsibility for climate leadership now rest on all of our shoulders".