Climate action continues despite United States withdrawal

Gwen Vasquez
June 4, 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel commented on Trump's reluctance to reaffirm greenhouse gas cuts, saying, "The entire discussion about climate was very hard, if not to say very dissatisfying".

In just the few short months of his incumbency so far, Mr Trump has halted a series of initiatives executed by President Barack Obama to address climate change.

And officials around the world said that they would press for the climate agreement to be respected regardless of the US decision.

Controversies have swirled since Trump took office in January around his associates' ties to Russian Federation and ongoing federal investigations into possible collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin.

European Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete told reporters in Brussels he deeply regretted the USA pullout from the pact to fight the dangers of global warming, which was signed by more than 190 countries, and said it could not be renegotiated as Trump has suggested.

Hendricks said the absence of $500 million contributions from the United States to the Green Climate Fund will be felt from 2018, but said it might be possible to fill the gap with "other financing mechanisms, for example through the World Bank".

There was a mix of dismay and anger across the world.

India on Friday said it is steadfast in its commitment to combating climate change, regardless of the USA decision to pull out from the Paris climate pact. New York State, California, and Washington State have formed an alliance to work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are leading to rising global temperatures.

"Tiny, tiny amount." But soon it emerged that Trump had picked up selective information to justify the rationale behind his decision.

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- Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau called the United States decision "disheartening" and said his country would continue to work with the U.S. to "discuss this matter of critical importance for all humankind".

Seven Social Democratic ministers in her coalition government said the United States "is harming itself, we Europeans and all the people of the world".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that the accord was needed "to preserve our Creation". And if we can, that's great. "If we fail to make progress ... the only winners will be political forces that oppose the progress we seek".

At a long-planned meeting on Friday between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and European Union officials in Brussels, the leaders pledged full implementation of the Paris deal. The city has a climate action plan committing to boost the use of renewable energy. The Financial Times and Guardian both published an annotated transcript of Trump's speech, noting the many misleading claims he made and his apparent misunderstanding about how the deal was designed and works.

He added, "The fight against climate change, and all the research, innovation and technological progress it will bring, will continue, with or without the U.S".

President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement is certainly bad news, both for the environment and global diplomacy.

"China was the leader, with America, to create the Paris agreement", Brown noted.

Mr Trump has previously described climate change as a hoax by the Chinese to damage USA manufacturing.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp, had supported staying in the pact.

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