World leaders react with anger, defiance after Trump pulls US out of Paris climate change agreement

Straits Times | Friday 2 June 2017


French President Emmanuel Macron speaks from the Elysee Palace in Paris, after US President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.PHOTO: REUTERS


PARIS (AFP, Reuters) – World leaders reacted with anger and defiance after President Donald Trump on Thursday (June 1) announced that the United States, the world’s second-biggest carbon emitter, was quitting the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

With France’s Emmanuel Macron taking the lead, they lashed Trump’s decision as misguided and vowed to defend an accord they portrayed as crucial for the planet’s future.

In an exceptional step, continental Europe’s three biggest economies – Germany, France and Italy – issued a joint statement to criticise Trump’s move and slap away his offer of renegotiating the deal.

“We note the United States’ decision with regret,” they said, describing the carbon-curbing accord as “a vital tool for our planet, our societies and our economies”.

“We are firmly convinced that the agreement cannot be renegotiated,” they added, referring to Trump’s announcement that Washington was open to negotiating a new agreement.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Trump to express his disappointment at the decision, but said he was inspired by “the growing momentum around the world to combat climate change and transition to clean growth economies”.

exican ministers said the world had a “moral imperative” to live up to the commitments made in the Paris climate pact, while Brazil’s foreign ministry said it was concerned and disappointed by Washington’s move.

Venezuela and Argentina also denounced the decision.

Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who will serve as president of UN climate talks in Germany later this year, labelled Trump’s announcement “deeply disappointing”.

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