European gov'ts condemn U.S. withdrawal from Paris agreement

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-02 23:17:57|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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PARIS, June 2 (Xinhua) -- The decision made by U.S. President Donald Trump to back out of the international climate agreement adopted in Paris in 2015 has provoked fierce reactions in Europe.

Paris, Berlin, Rome, London and Brussels have said they regret Trump's decision that they consider "an error" and even a "grave mistake."

French president Emmanuel Macron was one of the first European heads of state to respond to his American counterpart. In a statement broadcast Thursday night in French and English, Macron said Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement was an "error for the interests of his country and of his people, and a mistake for the future of our planet."

To the American president who spoke of a possible renegotiation on a climate deal, the head of the French republic indicated that there would not be new talks. "I tell you this evening with great force: we will not renegotiate for a less ambitious agreement. In any case," he responded.

Emmanuel Macron called on signatory countries "to stay within the framework of the Paris agreement and cede nothing. On the climate, there is not a plan B because there is not a planet B. So yes, we will continue," the French president insisted.

A similar reaction came from Germany where Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she regretted the decision of the United States to back out of the Paris agreement which is "indispensable in order to reach the objectives for 2031."

"We need this Paris agreement in order to preserve humanity. Nothing would be able to make us step backwards," said Merkel Friday morning to the German press.

In a joint declaration, the heads of state of France, Germany and Italy said they had taken note of the American decision with regret, and reaffirmed their commitment "to implement the Paris agreement, including its climate financing objectives." "We believe that the momentum created in Paris in December 2015 is irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, businesses and economies," the French, German and Italian authorities said in their joint statement.

Belgium also said it supported the Paris climate agreement without reservations. For the Belgian prime minister Charles Michel, the American decision must not halt the mobilization underway in favor of a struggle against global warming. "We must redouble our efforts to make it so that the great powers reaffirm their commitments. Beyond the ecological stakes, it is also an economic question and one of world geopolitical balance. Climate imbalance can only generate conflicts and large scale migratory movements. We will use all the international mechanisms possible to make that a reality," Michel said in a statement.

Britain also distanced itself from the decision of the United States to withdraw from the Paris agreement. According to one of the government spokespersons at Downing Street, Prime Minister Theresa May had "expressed her disappointment" with President Trump by phone.

May indicated to the American president that "the UK remained committed to the Paris agreement, as she set out recently at the G7." "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," said a document published on the official Downing Street website.

The Paris Agreement was adopted by 196 parties in Paris in 2015 and it went into effect in November last year. The pact sets a target of holding the global average rise in temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and preferably below 1.5 degree Celsius.

So far, 147 parties representing more than 82 percent of greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the agreement.