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Ted Cruz echoes Trump to slam Biden for rejoining Paris climate accord

"Do you also believe the Geneva Convention was about the views of the citizens of Geneva?" Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retorted.
Image: Senator Ted Cruz listens during a hearing in Washington, D.C.
Sen. Ted Cruz's comment about President Joe Biden's rejoining the Paris climate agreement was met with derision on Twitter, with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg saying: "So happy that USA has finally rejoined the Pittsburgh Agreement. Welcome back!"Anna Moneymaker / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Sen. Ted Cruz repeated Donald Trump's America-centric climate rhetoric as President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement on his first day in office.

Cruz, R-Texas, said in a tweet late Wednesday that by returning America to the multinational climate accord, Biden has indicated that he is more interested "in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh."

When Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement, the biggest international effort to curb climate change, in 2017, he said: "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."

Trump said the accord disadvantaged the U.S. — part of his broader strategy to loosen restrictions on domestic oil, gas and coal producers. The U.S. is the world's second-largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China.

Cruz's comment Wednesday was met with criticism on Twitter, where users pointing out the obvious: The Paris agreement is a multinational effort.

France was just one of the 196 participants to commit to the 2015 accord, which aims to keep the increase in average temperatures worldwide "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., responded to Cruz in a tweet, saying: "Quick question: do you also believe the Geneva Convention was about the views of the citizens of Geneva?"

The Geneva Convention, a set of protocols that regulates armed conflict, is recognized by nearly every country.

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Ocasio-Cortez introduced a sweeping policy resolution called Green New Deal that called for tackling climate change by moving the U.S. off fossil fuels in 2019, but it was defeated in the Senate.

Pittsburgh's mayor, Bill Peduto, also reacted on Twitter, saying: "Here we go, again…"

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg quipped in what appeared to be a reference to Cruz's tweet: "So happy that USA has finally rejoined the Pittsburgh Agreement. Welcome back!"

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., also criticized Biden's decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement, saying in a tweet that it will cost American jobs and "force households and small business to pay higher utility bills." It's not clear what the costs of rejoining the agreement would be — if any — or how it would affect utility bills.

Biden's rejoining of the Paris accord marks the start of a major policy reversal for the U.S. on the international stage, but he is already facing pushback at home.

Moments after Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the accord Wednesday, a group of Republican senators called on Biden to submit his plan to re-engage in it to lawmakers for "review and consideration."

The senators' move reflects deep-seated political divisions over climate policy that could hamper Biden's ambitious $2 trillion climate plan.