White House drops out of race against climate change

Donald Trump is facing huge criticism at home and abroad after pulling the US out of the Paris agreement on climate change. The US president says it is too harmful to American jobs. Syria and Nicaragua are the only other United Nations members that are not signatories.

Barack Obama, who signed the treaty last year, has condemned Trump’s decision. The previous president says the US will miss out as 190 countries “reap the benefits in jobs and industries” created by embarking on a low-carbon future. Trump has said he is happy to rejoin if the US can get better terms but world leaders say the treaty is non-negotiable.

Overseas allies of the US – including some of the closest, including Australia – have reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris deal. Mayors of US cities including Pittsburgh have said that if Trump won’t lead on this, they will adopt the Paris accord themselves, while the governors of New York, California and Washington have announced a “US Climate Alliance” to pull together states in upholding the agreement. David Suzuki, the veteran US environmentalist, says Trump has just taken a pass on the best deal for the planet, leaving America shackled to fossil fuels when everyone else is moving on.