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Cities light up green in support of Paris climate agreement

03 June 2017

2016 was the hottest year on record, and the last three years have seen the largest temperature increase since NASA began keeping track in 1880.

President Donald Trump uttered almost 3,000 words Thursday explaining why he withdrew the United States from the Paris climate accord.

With its departure from the agreement, the US joins Nicaragua and war-torn Syria, which is considered a "rogue state" by the USA, as the only nations to opt out the climate pledge.

- Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk has left Trump's presidential advisory council and said the withdrawal with have a negative impact on the whole world.

In Paris, the venue for the pact, French President Emmanuel Macron turned Mr Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan on its head, saying in a rare English-language statement that it was time to "make the planet great again".

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Germany's environment minister, Barbara Hendricks, told reporters in Berlin that other countries will fill the leadership vacuum but none will be expected to make up the shortfall in emissions reductions caused by Washington's exit. When Obama signed the United States onto the agreement in the fall of 2016, he committed to lowering the country's emissions output between 26 and 28 percent by 2025, compared to 2005 levels.

She called Trump's Rose Garden announcement "deeply disappointing", but suggested the president is costing the US a golden opportunity to profit from the inevitable growth of clean-tech initiatives around the globe.

Though Trump referred to pursuing a "far better deal" in his remarks, the White House official was unable to describe what such a deal would look like. Pittsburgh, however, isn't sticking with him - at least not on climate change.

"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.

China emerged as Europe's unlikely partner in this and in other areas - underlining Mr Trump's isolation on many issues. Tillerson, a former Exxon Mobil CEO, had urged Trump not to abandon the deal but was ultimately overruled.

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The United States would work with countries in the region to put new diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea, he added. China's public vote to penalize North Korea is a new chapter in what appears to be increasingly strained ties between the two.

Environmental advocacy organizations blasted Trump's decision to back out of the accord.

"So hopefully, people can keep it in perspective", the secretary added.

"The seas are rising and so are we", said Maraya Keny-Guyer, a Yale University student was one of several dozen people who joined a group protest on a street corner in Palo Alto near Stanford University a few hours after the Trump announcement.

"So if a locality, a municipality, or state wants to enact a policy that their voters or their citizens believe then that's what they should do", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

Trump on Thursday pulled out of Paris Climate Agreement, which lays down regulations to curb the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

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Cities light up green in support of Paris climate agreement