Bonsoir Paris
June 2, 2017

"Let me tell you, no one loves to announce an announcement more than Donald Trump," Jimmy Kimmel said on Thursday's Kimmel Live, and the president had a big one Thursday. "And it made sense that he did it from the Rose Garden, while we still have roses and gardens." The message Trump delivered — that he is withdrawing the U.S. from the global Paris climate accord — "was one of hope," Kimmel said, "as in: I hope this terrible prank America decided to play on itself is over soon." Just about everybody urged Trump not to do this — environmentalists, ExxonMobil, Shell, Walmart, even his daughter Ivanka — but Kimmel did find somebody who supported Trump's decision, and it isn't Stephen Bannon (probably?). Watch below. Peter Weber

June 2, 2017

President Trump said he was pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement on climate change to protect U.S. jobs, but some of the country's biggest job creators immediately and vehemently disagreed with Trump's decision. For two of them, Tesla's Elon Musk and Disney CEO Robert Iger, it was enough to give up on trying to work with Trump:

Musk and Iger were both on Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum, his chief business advisory council, and Musk was also on Trump's initiative on manufacturing jobs. With Musk and Iger gone, and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick having quit in February, there are 16 business executives left on Trump's council, including JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, General Motors chief executive Mary Barra, IBM chief Ginni Rometty, and council chairman Stephen Schwarzman from Blackstone, and they appear to be sticking with it, with various degrees of discomfort.

Musk has more to gain or lose here than most of the other members, since his rocket company, SpaceX, has several lucrative federal contracts and his other businesses, electric cars and solar power, are premised largely on transition from greenhouse-gas emissions to a greener economy. The California-based business community wasn't alone in taking extraordinary steps after Trump's announcement. Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs — the bank that has deeper ties to the Trump White House than just about any other company — was moved to issue his first tweet ever, after six years on Twitter. Peter Weber

June 2, 2017

President Trump was always inclined to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement to fight climate change, and he announced Thursday he will do so, after months of contentious White House debate that didn't even really take into account "the environmental and public health consequences of climate change," according to Axios. Case in point:

Instead, business leaders, economic adviser Gary Cohn, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and daughter Ivanka Trump spoke of the economic and diplomatic problems of quitting the global accord. They were outmaneuvered by chief strategist Stephen Bannon, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, and budget chief Mick Mulvaney, who brought in reams of charts and statistics dismissed as "either erroneous, scientifically dubious, misleading, or out of date" by opponents of ditching the Paris Agreement, The Washington Post reports.

Trump's "final, deliberative verdict was the same as his initial, gut-level one," the Post says, basing its "account of Trump's decision-making process" on interviews with "more than a dozen administration officials, Trump confidants, Republican operatives, and European diplomats." Kellyanne Conway said that Trump "stayed where he's always been, and not for a lack of trying by those who have an opposite opinion." Some of that trying came from European leaders, who marshaled economic, moral, environmental, and global power arguments to persuade Trump to keep the U.S. in the agreement during the G7 summit in Sicily.

That might have backfired, The Washington Post says. "One senior White House official characterized disappointing European allies as 'a secondary benefit' of Trump's decision to withdraw." And there was one "nudge" to quit Paris in particular, from French President Emmanuel Macron:

Macron was quoted in a French journal talking about his white-knuckled handshake with Trump at their first meeting in Brussels, where the newly elected French president gripped Trump's hand tightly and would not let go for six long seconds in a show of alpha-male fortitude. ... Hearing smack-talk from the Frenchman 31 years his junior irritated and bewildered Trump, aides said. A few days later, Trump got his revenge. He proclaimed from the Rose Garden, "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris." [The Washington Post]

Pittsburgh, it should be noted, took Europe's side. And Macron may have gotten, once again, the last laugh. Peter Weber

June 1, 2017

When President Trump shut the door on the Paris climate agreement on Thursday afternoon, he actually left it open a crack, perhaps in a nod to close members of his administration who had argued against pulling the U.S. out. "We are getting out," Trump said in the White House Rose Garden. "But we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that's fair. And if we can, that's great." It was immediately clear that there would be no renegotiating the Paris Agreement.

More than 190 nations — everyone but Syria and Nicaragua — agreed to the Paris plan, and "you cannot renegotiate individually," said Christina Figueres, the former United Nations official who led the Paris negotiations. "It's a multilateral agreement. No one country can unilaterally change the conditions."

The leaders of Germany, France, and Italy quickly issued a joint statement expressing their "regret" at Trump's decision and that they "deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies, and economies." Britain's prime minister, Theresa May, told Trump in a phone call she was disappointed in his decision. German Chancellor Angela Merkel emerged from meetings with the prime ministers of China and India with joint commitment to the Paris accord and hints of new global alliances.

French President Emmanuel Macron assured Americans, in English, in a video, that "France believes in you, the world believes in you," and urged "all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the president of the United States" to come work in France. He ended with a little dig at Trump: "Make our planet great again."

U.N. Secretary General António Guterres did not mention treaty renegotiation in his statement, but he said he "remains confident that cities, states, and businesses within the United States — along with other countries — will continue to demonstrate vision and leadership by working for the low-carbon, resilient economic growth that will create quality jobs and markets for 21st century prosperity." So far, 30 U.S. states, several major cities, and scores of big companies have said they are sticking with the Paris goals. Peter Weber

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