US President Donald Trump announced yesterday (1 June) that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord. Speaking from the White House, he, however, also said that he was open to renegotiating aspects of the deal, which was finalized by his predecessor Barack Obama and which all nations, except two, have backed up.
Mr. Trump said that the deal was a humiliation for American workers that unfairly gives advantage to foreign countries. “At what point does America get demeaned? At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?” he inquired. “We want fair treatment,” Trump said. “We don’t want other countries and other leaders to laugh at us anymore.” The decision marks a major shift in the US environmental policy and a rebuttal of the international efforts to pressure the White House to remain part of the accord. In triggering the official withdrawal procedures, he has launched a lengthy process that will not be finalized by November 2020.
Mr. Trump’s announcement has prompted major international and domestic criticism and the withdrawal will isolate the United State in efforts to curb global warming. EU and Chinese leaders have promptly teamed up together in an unlikely alliance to support the world’s fight against global warming. Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner on Climate Action and Energy, said in a statement that the two powers “are joining forces to forge ahead on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerate the global transition to clean energy.”
Mr. Cañete also stressed that “no one should be left behind, but the EU and China have decided to move forward. Our successful cooperation on issues like emissions trading and clean technologies are bearing fruit. Now is the time to further strengthen these ties to keep the wheels turning for ambitious global climate action.” The United States is the world’s second biggest emitter of carbon dioxide after China.