Michael Bastasch, DCNF
Former Secretary of State John Kerry accused President Donald Trump of lying to Americans about the cost of complying with the Paris climate accord.
Kerry made the remarks at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco Friday, which is being co-hosted by California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and funded by environmental activists.
“For the president to stand up in front of the American people and say it’s too much burden, we have to get out of Paris, and withdraw American leadership from an issue that is life and death is one of the single greatest acts of irresponsibility by a president of the United States anywhere, at any time,” Kerry said.
Trump announced in 2017 he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord that the Obama administration joined in 2016.
Trump said complying with the Paris accord “could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025,” including “440,000 fewer manufacturing jobs.”
“The cost to the economy at this time would be close to $3 trillion in lost GDP and 6.5 million industrial jobs, while households would have $7,000 less income and, in many cases, much worse than that,” Trump said when announcing his plan to withdraw from the Paris accord.
The Obama administration committed the U.S. to cut greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025, while China only promised to “peak” emissions by 2030. India made no commitment to cut emissions.
Kerry said Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused $265 billion in damages in 2017, which he said showed the high cost Americans are already bearing because of unmitigated global warming.
The hurricane costs make up “one-third of the Defense Department budget,” Kerry said.
“It’s more money than we put into the Energy Department, the Commerce Department, the Education Department and three or four other departments put together. That’s a burden,” Kerry said in his remarks.
However, Kerry neglected to mention the reason hurricane damages have been increasing in recent years is because of development in coastal regions in storm-prone areas. Data shows there’s been no increase in the frequency or intensity of hurricanes.