Senator Ted Cruz echoed Donald Trump’s American-centered climate rhetoric when President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement on his first day in office.
Cruz, R-Texas, said in a tweet Late on Wednesday, in America’s return to the multinational climate deal, Biden said he was “more interested in the views of Parisians than in the jobs of Pittsburgh citizens.”
When Trump announced the US withdrawal from the deal in 2017, the largest international effort to curb climate change, he said, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
Trump said the deal put the US at a disadvantage – part of his broader strategy to ease restrictions on domestic oil, gas and coal producers. The USA is the second largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world after China.
Cruz’s comment on Wednesday met with criticism on Twitter, with users pointing out the obvious: The Paris Agreement is a multinational effort.
France was only one of 196 participants who opted for the 2015 agreement, which aims to keep the increase in average temperatures worldwide “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
The Geneva Convention, a series of protocols regulating armed conflict, originated in Geneva, Switzerland, but is recognized by almost every country in the world.
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Ocasio-Cortez introduced a comprehensive political resolution, entitled “Green New Deal”, calling for the fight against climate change by freeing the US from fossil fuels in 2019. However, she was defeated in the Senate.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto also responded to Cruz on Twitter. saying: “Here we go again…”
The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg quipped in an obvious reference to Cruz’s tweet: “So happy that the US has finally rejoined the Pittsburgh Accords. Welcome back!”
Meanwhile, Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Also criticized Biden’s decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement in a tweet it will cost American jobs and “force households and small businesses to pay higher electricity bills”. It’s not clear what the cost of US re-entry into the deal would be for Americans, or how that would affect utility bills.
Biden’s re-entry into the Paris Agreement marks the beginning of a major political reversal for the US internationally, but he is already facing a setback at home.
Shortly after Biden signed an executive order resuming the deal on Wednesday, a group of Republican Senators called on Biden to submit his plan to re-include the US in the deal with lawmakers for “review and review.”
The senators’ move reflects the deep-rooted political divisions over climate change that could hamper Biden’s ambitious $ 2 trillion climate plan.
Reuters contributed to this report.