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The ten Senators who represented the United States at the 21st Conference of Parties in 2015, have urged President Donald Trump to reconsider and reverse his decision to withdraw from the historic Paris accord on climate change.
"More than 900 US businesses support keeping the US in the Paris Agreement, including 20 Fortune 500 companies. American businesses need the US government at the negotiating table to represent their interests," the 10 Senators wrote in a letter to Trump.
"Their support for the Paris Agreement is evidence that the Agreement is in fact a good deal for America.
We are ready to work with you and your administration on advancing these important economic and environmental goals and once again, urge you to reconsider and reverse your decision," said the Senators in the letter released to the press yesterday.
Led by Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the letter was signed among others by Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen, Jeff Merkley, Al Franken, Chris Coons, Brian Schatz, Ed Markey and Cory Booker.
In Paris, Trump indicated that he might reverse his decision.
"Something could happen with respect to the Paris Accord. We'll see what happens," Trump told reporters in a joint news conference with the French President Emmanuel Macron.
"But we will talk about that over the coming period of time. And if it happens, that will be wonderful. And if it doesn't, that will be okay too. But we'll see what happens," Trump said in response to a question, adding that they briefly discussed the Paris Accord.
Macron said he "remain extremely attached to the framework of the Paris Accord", which has been a major international breakthrough.
"It is within that framework that I'm working on priorities, including for the European Union," he said.
In their letter, the 10 Senators said they travelled to Paris in 2015 to participate in the 21st Conference of Parties and engage in the development of the Paris Agreement.
"We experienced the international community's overwhelming appreciation and support for the US leadership in achieving this landmark achievement.
"As Senators who have invested considerable time and energy to advancing US action on climate change, we respectfully disagree with your decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement," they said.
"As you reconsider this decision, to demonstrate the US' commitment to climate change leadership and maintaining the American private sector's advantage in a changing global economy, we strongly encourage you to utilise the several "America First" clean energy export tools at your disposal," the letter said.
The Senators insisted that the US must continue to reduce domestic emissions to maintain its credibility on climate leadership.