“As someone who cares deeply about the environment, which I do, I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States — which is what it does — the world’s leader in environmental protection, while imposing no meaningful obligations on the world’s leading polluters,” Trump said.
In its 2018
report on air pollution, the W.H.O. ranked the United States among the countries with the cleanest air in the world, significantly cleaner than the air in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, Japan, Austria, and France.
While France and other G7 countries lamented the U.S. exit from the Paris climate accord, America’s air was significantly cleaner than that of any other country in the G7, except Canada.
Following standard practice, the W.H.O. measures air pollution by the mean annual concentration of fine suspended particles of less than 2.5 microns in diameter. These are the particles that cause diseases of all sorts and are responsible for most deaths by air pollution.
The annual mean concentrations of particulate matter in the air range from less than 10 to over 100 ug/m3, the report states. At the very low end of the spectrum, the United States has a concentration of just 9.1, while China has a concentration more than four times higher at 41.2, India at 72.5, Pakistan at 74.3, and Bangladesh at 97.1.
“Our results speak for themselves,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote in a statement at the time. “U.S. emissions of criteria air pollutants that impact human health and the environment declined by 74% between 1970 and 2018. U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions dropped 13% from 2005-2017, even as our economy grew over 19%.”
After Trump announced his decision to abandon the Paris deal, John Kerry — President Biden’s pick for his Climate Czar —
claimed that people were “going to die” as a result.
“People are going to die because of the decision Donald Trump made,” Kerry warned. “My kids and my grandkids are going to face a difficult world because of what Donald Trump has done.”