President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the United States is pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord.
The global agreement sets a standard for countries to meet to improve their greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to decrease pollution and slow global warming.
Local environmentalist and Director of Florida Oceanographic, Mark Perry, watched Trump deliver his speech.
“Frustrated and disappointed. Completely disappointed,” Perry said.
He believes the United States needs to be a global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, something he felt the U.S was doing as a part of the Paris agreement. Locally, he says our ocean, coral, sea life and oyster beds depend on it.
“We have coral reefs. We have sea grass… they’re dramatically going to be impacted by the change in the climate,” Perry said.
South Florida is ‘ground zero’, he says, to be impacted by rises in sea level.
“We’re talking a three feet to five foot rise in sea level. We’re talking an increase in ocean temperatures,” Perry said.
Trump, however, said he has the United States’ best interests in mind, stating the agreement is hurting jobs and not doing enough for the environment.
“This agreement is less about the climate, and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States,” Trump said.
He also said he would be willing to renegotiate a way back into the agreement if a deal can be made that he feels is ‘fair’.
William Haystradt worries about the message Trump’s action sends to the solar community. Haystradt owns a solar panel installation company out of Jupiter, Abundant Energy.
“Pulling out of the climate accord is not a good thing… what it does is contribute to the naysayers, you know?”
Haystradt doesn’t believe he will see an immediate threat to his business, but does not want to see a lack of support for the industry overall.
Perry is urging people to do their part on a local level to watch their greenhouse gas emissions.