French president excoriates Trump in English over his withdrawal from climate deal

Joanna Estrada
June 3, 2017

"That incredible diplomatic achievement could not have been secured without the decisive role of the United States of America".

It may be years before the country can formally exit the deal, but Trump said he'll immediately halt implementation.

Trump's climate reversal is the latest challenge he has presented to Tillerson, a newcomer himself to the world of diplomacy who is still working to establish his credibility as an advocate American foreign policy.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson answers a question from the media about the US leaving the Paris climate accord, while meeting with Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, Friday, June 2, 2017, at the State Department in Washington.

The architects of the Paris Agreement included Christiana Figueres, who until recently led the UNFCCC.

"We hope that the other countries will not follow Trump saying, 'If USA did it, I will also do it.' If they follow [him], this will cause the Paris deal to collapse", Mehmet Emin Birpinar, Turkey's chief negotiator for climate change talks, told Anadolu Agency on Friday. The two wrote a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry saying that maintaining the commitment to the agreement and to US leadership on climate change will help protect future generations.

The head of the World Meteorological Organisation's atmospheric research and environment department, Deon Terblanche, underscored however that the likely impact of US President Donald Trump's widely-condemned decision remains far from clear.

"I am not anxious, because I know that in the end it is not due to a political decision how the greenhouse gas emissions are".

A dozen large companies including oil major BP, agrochemical giant DuPont and tech heavyweights Google, Intel and Microsoft had urged Trump to stick to the pact. Still, his support for the Paris deal was insufficient to persuade Trump to stay in.

He said that Brussels and Beijing believe in "the full implementation, without nuances, of the Paris climate agreement", and underlined that there can be "no backsliding" on the pact. "Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world", Musk said.

Several hundred people marched through the Loop Friday evening to protest President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accords and to call on Gov. Bruce Rauner to promise compliance statewide.

The governors of four New England states - including two Republicans - are joining a bipartisan coalition of states committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. I do not think that administration can prescribe which framework the state of California for example sets for its auto producers, how it sees its future business model... Its plans to spend more than US$361 billion on renewable energy by 2020 to meet climate change goals have created thriving markets for wind and solar power, electric cars, advanced batteries and other technologies.

"We must continue the conversation with the new administration, despite all the difficulties".

Tillerson said repeatedly in his confirmation hearing in January that he accepted climate change is real and believed it was important for America to "have a seat at the table" in worldwide discussions on the matter.

Trump's announcement comes less than 18 months after the climate pact was adopted, the fruit of a hard-fought agreement between Beijing and Washington under Barack Obama's leadership.

Still, Tillerson's support has been quieter than that of his predecessor: John Kerry.

"They found a number that made the point they want to make", Jacoby said. Elon Musk, who had already revealed that he would quit the Trump government if they went ahead with the withdrawal kept his word and left the advisory council.

"Our members have been leaders in providing a diverse energy supply that includes natural gas, coal, hydro, wind, solar and biomass", she said.

But Ronald Neumann, a former USA ambassador who heads the American Academy of Diplomacy, noted Tillerson, like all secretaries of state, would occasionally lose policy battles.

"You can't buy your way out of a flood or out of polluted air - it affects us all, so I would say that to him".

South Africa called the USA pullout "an abdication of global responsibility".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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