World leaders reacted with anger and defiance after President Donald Trump on Thursday, 1 June, announced the United States, the world’s second biggest carbon emitter, was quitting the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
The 2015 Paris Agreement is the first pact to commit all nations to limiting global warming caused by emissions from burning coal, oil and gas.
“I cannot, in good conscience, support a deal that punishes the United States,” Trump said while announcing the decision to pull the US out of the agreement.
Trump repeatedly painted the pact, struck by his predecessor Barack Obama, as a deal that did not “put America first” and was too easy on economic rivals India, China and Europe.
The US had committed to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. The US accounts for more than 15 percent of total worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, second only to China.
The withdrawal prompted a global backlash, but while supporters said the US simply needed a better deal.
In an exceptional step, the leaders of Germany, France and Italy issued a joint statement to criticise Trump’s move and rejected his offer of renegotiating the deal.
“We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies.”
US President Trump announces decision to withdraw from Paris Climate Agreement in the White House Rose Garden on June 1, 2017. Source: Reuters
The US has “turned its back on the world”
The newly-elected French president, Emmanuel Macron, also made a separate address.
“I tell you firmly tonight: We will not renegotiate a less ambitious accord. There is no way. Tonight the United States has turned its back on the world, but France will not turn its back on Americans. Wherever we live, wherever we are we all share the same responsibility, make our planet great again,” Macron said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May told Trump that she was “disappointed” by his decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord, the prime minister’s office said after a call between the leaders.
“The Paris Agreement provides the right global framework for protecting the prosperity and security of future generations, while keeping energy affordable and secure for our citizens and businesses,” May told Trump by phone, it said in a statement.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed May’s words in a statement shortly after Trump’s announcement.
“We are deeply disappointed that the United States federal government has decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. While the U.S. decision is disheartening, we remain inspired by the growing momentum around the world to combat climate change and transition to clean growth economies,” Trudeau said.