In a fierce rejoinder from across the globe, leaders of other nations and scientists pointed to jobs that could be created in green technology and the edge China could be given as a result. The coal industry has lost 2,400 jobs in Pennsylvania since 2007, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St.Louis. The U.S. only sources about 13 percent of its electricity from renewable energy.
Pruitt was asked repeatedly about Trump's climate stance during an appearance at Friday's press briefing, dodging almost half a dozen questions about Trump's climate stance, especially as it related to the decision-making process around Paris. But New Jersey's Republican delegation appears to be split on the president's decision. Pence called Trump's decision "refreshing".
"Virtually every city in America is doing these things", Mitchell said.
The non-partisan organization is made up of all 1,408 mayors of American cities with populations greater than 30,000.
Lori Robertson, managing editor of FactCheck.Org which is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Centre, said there was nothing in the Paris agreement that stipulates which countries can and cannot build coal plants.
An article in the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post pointed out that the US decision "cedes global climate action leadership to China, which Trump chided in his speech, and the European Union".
"We don't need the federal government throwing in [billions of dollars] a year and redistributing it through an worldwide octopus, to keep San Diego going down a green road." one commenter said. A top European Union official said the EU and China believe Trump made a grievous error.
State governors, city mayors and powerful companies united Friday in defiance of President Donald Trump's pledge to take the United States out of the Paris climate accord, pledging to meet greenhouse gas emission targets regardless. South Africa's government calls the US pullout "an abdication of global responsibility". The White House indicated it would follow the lengthy exit process outlined in the deal.
In his announcement, Trump decried the money that the U. S. pledged to implementing the Paris Agreement. He is breaking from many of America's staunchest allies, who have expressed alarm about the decision.
"We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us any more".
While the move withdraws the world's largest economy from commitments to fight global warming, it does not halt the march of U.S. businesses toward renewable energy or state and local government efforts.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston said he opposed Trump's decision.
"But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I'm confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we've got", Mr Obama added. The immediate impact of Trump's move could be largely symbolic.
"We see the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord as an abdication of American leadership and America's mayors will certainly fill that void", said Phoenix (AZ) Mayor Greg Stanton, USCM Environment Committee Chair.
Why is the USA paying other countries to reduce their emissions?
Nicaragua and Syria are the only countries not party to the Paris accord; the former says it is not ambitious enough.
Republican congressional leaders backed Mr Trump.
Supporters of the accord, including some leading American business figures, called Mr Trump's move a blow to worldwide efforts to tackle dangers for the planet posed by global warming. Business investors seemed pleased, with stock prices, already up for the day, bumping higher as he spoke and the Dow Jones industrial average rising 135 points for the day. This country is the world's second biggest carbon emitter behind China.