Washington: The US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced the US is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement due to the "draconian financial and economic burdens" the agreement imposes on his country.
"As of today, the US will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord, and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country," he said in an address in the White House Rose Garden.
With the move, the US joins Nicaragua and Syria as the only other non participants to the accord, inked by 195 nations, including Washington, in Paris in December 2015, to fight climate change.
Trump said the accord "disadvantages the US to the exclusive betterment of other countries", and targeted India specifically.
"India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions of dollars in foreign aid," he said.
Trump said according to the Paris Climate deal terms, China will be allowed many coal plants, and India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020, but not the US.
He said the US will begin negotiations to reenter the Paris Agreement "on terms that are fair to the United States".
"We will be environmentally friendly, but we're not going to put our businesses out of work... We're going to grow rapidly," he said.
He said that under the accord, China can steadily grow its carbon footprint until 2030. "They can do whatever they want in 13 years, but not us".
He said the deal "hamstrings" America by giving foreign nations an "economic edge", adding, "that's not going to happen".
"Compliance to the deal could cost 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025," Trump said, adding "Believe me, this is not what we need".
Trump said withdrawing from the Paris Agreement "protects the United States from future intrusions on the United States' sovereignty"
Former President Barack Obama, whose administration played a key role in negotiating the deal, accused Trump of "rejecting the future" by pulling out of the Paris climate deal.
In a statement, Obama said those nations that remained signed up to the accord would "reap the benefits in jobs and industries created".
He added: "This Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future."
Obama said the US "should be at the front of the pack" when it came to lowering emissions and developing green technology.
"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," he said.