President Donald Trump signed an executive order to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Monday, a move that is likely to hurt green- and other green-heavy industries.
Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement, announced last week, was criticized by Democrats as a betrayal of Americans’ faith in the United Nations and the world body.
In a statement, the Sierra Club said the withdrawal was “deeply troubling” and “a slap in the face to millions of Americans who have worked to keep the planet clean and green and our economy strong.”
“Trump’s Paris withdrawal is a slap in our face to all Americans who work to protect the environment and make our country a better place to live, work and play,” the Sierra said.
Green groups said they will be monitoring the president’s decision.
“We’re hopeful that President Trump will reverse the disastrous decision he just made, but it will take time,” said Sierra Club Senior Vice President and Chief Climate Officer Jennifer Crumpton.
President Trump’s decision was also cheered by a number of conservative think tanks, which are worried about the environmental impact of the move.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has been critical of the climate accord, said the decision is a “step in the right direction,” but warned that the administration could still leave it vulnerable.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) praised the decision, saying it sends a “clear message to President Trump that the environmental benefits of the Paris Agreement are well established.”
Environmentalists, however, said that the decision will be bad news for green jobs.
Weakening the Paris agreement and undermining the US’s leadership in climate change will lead to a new wave of job losses, according to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which said in a statement that the withdrawal could hurt jobs across the economy.
Last month, Trump signed a $3.7 trillion spending bill that included a $2.7 billion increase in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s budget.
That was the largest increase since the Obama administration took office.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the administration would work with Congress to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
He said the new funding would be spent “tens of billions of dollars over the next five years, on climate adaptation and clean energy.”