Berlin/Brussels, June 2: China and Europe pledged on Friday to unite to save what German Chancellor Angela Merkel called “our Mother Earth”, standing firmly against President Donald Trump’s decision to take the United States out of the Paris climate change pact.
Others, including India, signalled their commitment to the accord, but Russian President Vladimir Putin said that while the United States should have remained in the 2015 deal, he would not judge Trump, and warned about the accord’s impact on jobs and poverty.
Tapping into the “America First” message he used on the election trail, Trump announced the withdrawal on Thursday, saying that participating would undermine the U.S. economy, wipe out U.S. jobs, weaken American national sovereignty and put the country at a permanent disadvantage to others.
There was a mix of dismay and anger across the world. France said it would work with U.S. states and cities—some of which, notably California, have broken with Trump’s decision—to keep up the fight against climate change.
A number of business and industry figures criticised Trump’s decision, while others focussed on what it might mean to their trade.
The World Meteorological Organization estimated that US withdrawal from the emissions-cutting accord could add 0.3 degrees Celsius to global temperatures by the end of the century in a worst-case scenario. Germany’s Merkel, a pastor’s daughter who is usually intensely private about her faith, said the accord was needed “to preserve our Creation”.
In Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron turned Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan on its head, saying in a rare English-language statement that it was time to “make the planet great again”.
A long-scheduled meeting on Friday between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and top European Union officials in Brussels was dominated by Trump’s decision.
The meeting ended with a joint statement pledging full implementation of the Paris deal, committing China and the EU to cutting back on fossil fuels, developing more green technology and helping raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer countries reduce their emissions.
Russia’s Putin urges ‘joint work’ with Trump on climate
- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday urged the world to work with Donald Trump on climate, insisting he did not “judge” the US leader for quitting the landmark Paris accord.
- “You shouldn’t make a noise about this, but should create the conditions for joint work,” Putin said at an economic forum, adding that Trump had said he wanted to renegotiate a new deal.
- “If such a major emitter as the US is not going to cooperate entirely then it won’t be possible to agree any deal in this area and we need to think what to do further,” the Russian President said.
- The Kremlin leader said that “in my view it was possible (for the US) not to leave the Paris agreement because it is a framework deal, and it was possible to change the US obligations inside the framework of these agreements”
Decision irrational, opine Indian-American lawmakers
- Indian-American lawmakers described US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris climate deal an “irrational” that has set the planet on a “catastrophic” course.
- “This decision, based on falsehoods and the denial of climate change, would be a complete disaster for our cities, Washington state, our country and the entire world. It’s not a hoax,” said Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.
- Democratic Senator Kamala Harris from California said pulling out of the Paris Agreement is an irrational decision that is a disastrous step backward, threatens the future viability of the planet for future generations and abdicates America’s role of leadership.
- Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said abandoning the commitments we made in Paris is a massive self-inflicted wound to the environment, America’s global influence, and its economy.
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