US President Donald Trump said Thursday he was withdrawing the US from the Paris climate agreement, striking a major blow to worldwide efforts to combat climate change and distancing the country from many allies abroad.
“As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord,” Trump said during a White House Rose Garden announcement. Suggesting renegotiating re-entry was not a major priority, he said, “If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”
“I cannot, in good conscience, support a deal that punishes the United States — the world’s leader in environmental protection — while imposing no meaningful obligations on the world’s leading polluters,” Trump said, before singling out China and India.
European leaders and green groups reacted with anger and dismay after President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the United States, the world’s second biggest carbon emitter, was quitting the 2015 Paris Agreement.
But they also pledged to defend the agreement and not to backtrack in the fight against climate change.
In an exceptional step, continental Europe’s three biggest economies — Germany, France and Italy — issued a joint statement in which they criticized Trump’s decision and said the pact was “not renegotiable.”
Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Union’s executive Commission, lashed Trump’s decision as “seriously wrong.”
The body’s commissioner for climate action and energy Miguel Arias Canete also pledged continued “global leadership” on climate change.
Seven Social Democratic ministers in her coalition government said the United States “is harming itself, we Europeans and all the people of the world.”
In France, the Elysee presidential palace said newly-elected leader Emmanuel Macron had phoned Trump to say that “nothing was negotiable” in the Paris agreement.