Former Bush administration official: Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris agreement “would harm every American” and “devastate our international credibility” 

Nicholas Burns: “For President Trump to take us out – it is anti-empirical, it's anti-science, it doesn’t make sense"

From the May 31 edition of CNN's New Day:

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CHRIS CUOMO (CO-HOST): We have breaking news from two official sources coming from the White House. The word is that President Trump will withdraw from the France agreements with respect to global warming and those other environmental considerations. Now if that's not true, the president is often watching, if that's not true please reach out, at least on Twitter and let us know that it is not true. But if it is, Nick Burns, how big a deal is it if the U.S. withdraws from the Paris accords? 

NICHOLAS BURNS: If true, this would be a colossal mistake by President Trump. It would harm every American because climate change is an existential threat to us. It would also, Chris, devastate our international credibility. We're one of the two largest carbon emitters with China. We're the ones who put -- President Obama and [Chinese President] Xi Jinping -- put this deal together. It's the first step to try to do something about climate change. For President Trump to take us out -- it is anti-empirical, it’s anti-science, it doesn't make sense. And boy will it deepen the crisis with Europe. If you travel in Europe, as I did in the last few weeks, it's the number one public issue. If we walk away, it will further deepen the credibility problem that we have with the Germans and other peoples in Europe. 

CUOMO: And John Kirby, it would also create a control vacuum. Even the business interests here in the U.S. have said “don't leave, if you do, we won't have leverage in the negotiations of a lot of the regulation.”

JOHN KIRBY: Yeah. That's exactly right, Chris. I mean 300 U.S. companies have urged the president to stay inside the Paris agreement. Look, in just the last 15 years the solar energy industry in the United States has doubled seven times. The wind energy industry has doubled four times. In just the last 15 years there is 2.5 million jobs in the United States dedicated to the clean energy industry and that number is continuing to climb. That's the future and that's where frankly China wants to go. So we are going to be losing jobs here in the United States, we will be hurting our economy and we'll be ceding that territory to China going forward. 

CUOMO: 192 signatories during this trip. You saw the entire European community come out and reinforce its commitment to the Paris accords and now CNN has learned from two different sources that the president of the United States says the United States is out of the Paris Accords.


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