Published: Mon, June 05, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Business leaders bash Trump's decision to withdraw from Paris climate accord

Business leaders bash Trump's decision to withdraw from Paris climate accord

"China will stand by its responsibilities on climate change", premier Li Keqiang told reporters on Thursday after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and before flying on to Brussels for meetings with European Union officials that will include how to keep the Paris agreement going without USA participation.

Serious climate change by man has been a scientific reality for decades. After the announcement, many of our allies publicly denounced the U.S. - but, privately, reacted with relief that the USA had cleared the field for countries who take climate change seriously to ramp up their efforts.

Macron decried Trump's move in a live televised address, saying that "on the climate there is no plan B because there is no planet B" and that "we will not renegotiate a less ambitious deal". Trump chose to withdraw from the Paris Agreement in a way that will take four years.

"The president may have unwittingly added dynamism to the same actors that have always been the ones that are delivering the reductions to actually do more on their own", he told AFP.

The Paris Agreement's central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise in this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. BP chief executive told Bloomberg on Thursday that the energy sector would have to "transition" towards low-carbon energy sources.

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Belousev said he regarded the U.S. withdrawal "with great regret, because you can not change the decisions like that, swinging from side to side".

In his Rose Garden speech to announce America's withdrawal, Trump said his administration hoped to "begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord, or a really entirely new transaction with terms that are fair to the United States".

"In its analysis of decision-making to limit climate change and its effects, the IPCC noted that climate change is a problem of the commons, requiring collective action at the global scale", he said.

Sweden's minister for foreign affairs, Margot Wallström, said Trump's decision abandoned future generations. And in doing so, Trump has given voters the opportunity to speak out on climate change in a way they rarely have.

She also warned that quitting the Paris accord meant missing out on future jobs and growth in the green economy. "Reality isn't just another statesman you shove away".

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America's European allies issued a statement nearly immediately, saying they had no interest in renegotiating with Trump.

China and India are two of the world's largest carbon polluters.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he remained committed to working with other world cities to tackle emissions, cut pollution and protect public health.

In 2020, voters will have something concrete to vote on: Does the U.S. engage with the rest of the world on climate change, or remain a pariah?

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