ABC News Australia

Paris climate deal: Donald Trump to lose Elon Musk from advisory council over announcement

2 June 2017


Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk says he will leave White House advisory councils after President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.

Mr Trump’s decision to pull the US from the landmark global agreement to fight climate change, which Australia is also a part of, spurned pleas from the country’s allies and corporate leaders in an action that fulfilled a major campaign pledge.

“Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,” Mr Musk said in a Twitter post.

Mr Trump’s announcement in the White House Rose Garden this morning capped days of speculation about whether he would fulfil his campaign pledge to “cancel” the deal, ratified by nearly 200 nations in the French capital in 2015.

He said the agreement as it stands would make it “very hard” for the US “to compete with the rest of the world”, and said the deal is “less about the climate and more about other countries gaining an advantage over the United States.”

The day before the announcement, Mr Musk said he had done “all I can” to convince the US President to stay in the accord and threatened to leave presidential advisory councils if the departure went ahead.

Mr Musk, who founded SpaceX and Tesla among other companies, had been a member of Mr Trump’s infrastructure council, manufacturing jobs council and strategic and policy forum.

He is also a sustainable energy entrepreneur, and in March pledged to fix South Australia’s power issues following a massive statewide blackout, declaring Tesla could get the job done in a mere 100 days.

Another member of Mr Trump’s business councils, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, wrote on Twitter that he was “disappointed” with Mr Trump’s decision on Paris.

“Industry must now lead and not depend on Government,” Mr Immelt said.

The Paris deal aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

Under the deal, the US committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2025.