US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley has defended President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to withdraw from the landmark Paris accord but underlined that America was committed to curbing climate change. Trump last week withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement and said that India would get billions of dollars for meeting its commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement along with China and gain a financial advantage over the US. He had put the US in league with two other nations -Syria and Nicaragua – who have not signed onto the deal agreed by over 190 other nations.
The decision has drawn a negative reaction from around the world with world leaders vowed to enhance their commitment to the landmark accord. “Just because the US got out of a club does not mean we are not going to care about the environment,” the Indian-American senior diplomat said on Saturday. Haley, 45, has defended Trump’s decision saying he knows climate is changing. Trump “knows that it is changing and that the US has to be responsible for it and that is what we are going to do,” Haley said, adding that withdrawing from the Paris agreement will not change the country’s commitment to curbing climate change, the CNN reported.
“President Trump believes the climate is changing and he believes pollutants are part of the equation,” Haley said. When asked why the US pulled out of the climate agreement, Haley blamed former President Barack Obama for agreeing to regulations that were “too onerous,” too strict and ultimately unachievable. Haley said the regulations from the Paris agreement were disadvantaging the companies.
“I knew that as a governor. The jobs were not attainable as long as we lived under those regulations. It was not possible to meet the goals had we attempted to,” she said. Haley’s comments are the closest acknowledgement by an administration official since Trump took office that the President — who has called climate change a “hoax” on multiple occasions — believes global warming is occurring and humanity has a role in it.
When asked in November if he believed human activity was connected to climate change, Trump acknowledged that there is “some connectivity.” But he backed away from saying to what extent he believed humans were responsible, adding that it “also depends on how much it’s going to cost our companies.” Haley said that Trump will always have America’s best interests at heart, including what he does in regard to protecting the environment.
“The rest of the world wanted to tell us how to do it. But we will do it under our own terms,” she said.