Former U.S. President Barack Obama criticized President Donald Trump for announcing on Thursday that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, characterizing the decision as America vacating its leadership role on the world stage.
Obama, who has refrained from commenting on his successor’s every action in office, did not name Trump in his statement, but nonetheless made clear that he believes Trump’s plan to exit the 2015 agreement will hurt America, economically and otherwise.
“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created,” Obama said. “I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”