WASHINGTON, DC. – US President Donald Trump has officially announced the US is withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, striking a major blow to worldwide efforts to combat climate change and distancing the country from many allies abroad.He said his administration would try to negotiate re-entry on better terms. “As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord,” Trump said during a White House Rose Garden announcement. Suggesting renegotiating re-entry was not a major priority, he said, “If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”By abandoning the world’s chief effort to slow the tide of planetary warming, Trump was fulfilling a top campaign pledge. But he was also breaking from many of America’s staunches allies, who have expressed alarm about the decision.Under former President Barack Obama, the US had agreed to reduce emissions to 26 per cent to 28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2025 — about 1.6 billion tons.But Trump said the agreement disadvantaged the US “to the exclusive benefit of other countries,” leaving American businesses and taxpayers to absorb the cost.Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more dangerous levels of warming sooner as a result of the president’s decision because America contributes so much to rising temperatures. Calculations suggest withdrawal could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide in the air a year — enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather.The US is the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon, following only China. Beijing, however, has reaffirmed its commitment to meeting its targets under the Paris accord, recently canceling construction of about 100 coal-fired power plants and investing billions in massive wind and solar projects.The White House had signaled earlier in the week that withdrawal was likely, but Trump has been known to change his mind at the last minute on such major decisions.Vice-President Mike Pence feels Trump is “choosing to put American jobs and American consumers first” with his announcement that the US will withdraw from the Paris accord.Former President Barack Obama says the Trump administration is joining “a small handful of nations that reject the future” by withdrawing from the Paris climate change pact.Obama is defending the deal that his administration painstakingly negotiated. He says the countries that stay in the Paris deal will “reap the benefits in ”jobs and industries created.” He says the US should be ”at the front of the pack.”The former president says in a statement that Trump’s decision reflects “the absence of American leadership.” But Obama says he’s confident nonetheless that US cities, states and businesses will fill the void by taking the lead on protecting the climate.Obama says that businesses have chosen “a low-carbon future” and are already investing heavily in renewable sources like wind and solar.