The United States withdrawal from the Paris climate accord could add 0.3 degrees Celsius to global temperatures by the end of the century in a worst case scenario, an official from the UN World Meteorological Organization estimated on Friday.
Deon Terblanche, head of WMO's Atmospheric Research and Environment Department, said it was an estimate, since no climate models had been run to gauge the likely impact of the decision announced by US president Donald Trump on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, Trump withdrew the US from the landmark 2015 global agreement to fight climate change, drawing anger and condemnation from world leaders and heads of industry. He said the Paris accord would undermine the US economy, cost US jobs, weaken American national sovereignty and put the country at a permanent disadvantage to the other countries of the world.
"We're getting out," Trump said at a ceremony in the White House.
"We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us any more. And they won't be," Trump said.
"The same nations asking us to stay in the agreement are the countries that have collectively cost America trillions of dollars through tough trade practices and in many cases lax contributions to our critical military alliance," Trump added.
Republican US congressional leaders backed Trump. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell applauded Trump "for dealing yet another significant blow to the Obama administration's assault on domestic energy production and jobs."
Supporters of the accord, including some leading US business figures, called Trump's move a blow to international efforts to tackle dangers for the planet posed by global warming.
International leaders reacted with disappointment, even anger.
"The decision made by US president Trump amounts to turning their backs on the wisdom of humanity. I'm very disappointed... I am angry," Japanese environment minister Koichi Yamamoto told a news conference on Friday in an unusually frank tone.
German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Emmanuel Macron and Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni said in a rare joint statement the agreement could not be renegotiated and urged their allies to hasten efforts to combat climate change and adapt.
"While the US decision is disheartening, we remain inspired by the growing momentum around the world to combat climate change and transition to clean growth economies," said Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.
Published Date: Jun 02, 2017 15:27 PM | Updated Date: Jun 02, 2017 15:32 PM