Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday said that it’s “difficult to defend” the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords, The Hill writes.
“Obviously we’re in an unusual time when the United States is now the only nation on earth that does not belong to the Paris agreement. And that’s a difficult position to defend. But the good news is that the Paris agreement was never going to solve the climate crisis on its own. It was going to be up to all of us” Obama said, according to The Chicago Tribune.
Speaking at the North American Climate Summit in Chicago, Obama also urged officials in attendance to continue efforts to combat climate change, regardless of the current administration’s position.
He also addressed the string of recent hurricanes that slammed Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas, noting that “more than two months later they are still struggling to recover.”
The Trump administration has made multiple decisions to end or reverse Obama-era policies focused on combating climate change, for example in October the administration moved to repeal an Obama-era climate change rule aimed at limiting carbon emissions, The Hill adds.
In June Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris agreement, an Obama-era deal that amounts to the first global effort to lower carbon emissions. Syria signed onto the deal last month, making the United States the only nation not supporting it, The Hill notes.