A New York Republican is speaking out against President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik issued a statement Thursday criticizing Trump's announcement that the U.S. will pull out of the landmark agreement. While she believes then-President Barack Obama overstepped his authority when entering into the agreement, she thinks that the Trump administration withdrawing from the pact is "a mistake."
"As we know in the North Country, protecting our environment goes hand in hand with strengthening our economy," Stefanik, R-Willsboro, said. "We understand climate change is a serious threat that must be addressed by our entire global community, and the United States should continue to lead.
"United States innovation and business leadership have been key drivers to lowering our carbon emissions over the last 20 years, and we should continue to have an influential seat at the table as the rest of the world addresses these issues. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is misguided, and harms the ongoing effort to fight climate change while also isolating us from our allies."
The Paris Agreement was signed by 195 countries last year. Before Thursday, the lone holdouts were Nicaragua, which didn't sign it because officials there didn't believe it went far enough, and Syria.
The accord's main objective is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and prevent the global temperature from continuing to rise. Even nations like China and India, which have been reluctant to participate in previous attempts to address climate change, have signed the agreement.
But Trump dismissed the Paris Agreement as a bad deal and said it would undermine the U.S. economy. He's open to renegotiating the deal — a prospect that's not likely.
European leaders who participated in Paris Agreement talks said the deal won't be renegotiated.
"It's time to exit the Paris accord and time to pursue a new deal that protects the environment, our companies, our citizens and our country," Trump said.
Despite Trump's actions, Stefanik expressed her willingness to focus on ways to address climate change. She's a member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus and is the sponsor of a GOP climate change resolution.
"I am committed to working in Congress on solutions to fight climate change, and will also continue working with local New York county and state officials on efforts here in our state to continue protecting our greatest resource," she said.