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Don't worry, be happy, says Putin even as world leaders vow to fight climate change

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Commission President Jean -Claude Juncker during the G7 summit in Taormina, Italy.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Commission President Jean -Claude Juncker during the G7 summit in Taormina, Italy.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy said in a joint statement that they regretted the United States’ decision

Top European leaders on Friday pledged to keep fighting against global warming as President Donald Trump announced he was pulling out of the Paris climate accord, but they rejected his suggestion that the deal could later be renegotiated.

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy said in a joint statement that they regretted the United States’ decision to withdraw from the accord, but affirmed “our strongest commitment” to implement its measures and encouraged “all our partners to speed up their action to combat climate change.”

 

While Trump said the United States would be willing to rejoin the accord if it could obtain more favorable terms, the three European leaders said the agreement cannot be renegotiated, “since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economics.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he won’t judge President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris climate accord.

“Don’t worry, be happy!” Putin quipped on Friday after being asked for his reaction at an economic forum in St Petersburg, Russia. He said the climate deal doesn’t formally go into effect until 2021, giving nations years to come up with a constructive solution to combating global warming.

For Putin, leader of the world’s biggest crude oil producer and fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, there was plenty to cheer in Trump’s rejection of the agreement painstakingly negotiated by the Obama administration and signed by 195 countries.

 

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

She says she regrets President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord. Social Democratic members of Merkel’s Cabinet issued a separate joint statement saying “the United States is harming itself, us Europeans and all other people in the world.” She vowed “more decisive action than ever” to protect the climate after the US pullout from the landmark Paris accord. “We in Germany, in Europe and the world will band together to take more decisive action than ever to confront and successfully surmount major challenges to humanity such as climate change,” she told reporters.

Emmanuel Macron, President of France

Mr. Macron spoke in English from the presidential palace, an unprecedented event from a French president in an address at home. He said, “I do respect this decision but I do think it is an actual mistake both for the U.S. and for our planet.” “Wherever we live, whoever we are, we all share the same responsibility- make our planet great again,” Mr. Macron added.

Miguel Arias Canente, EU’s top climate change official

Miguel Arias Canente, said in a statement that Trump’s decision to leave the Paris accord made it “a sad day for the global community,” adding that the bloc “deeply regrets the unilateral decision.” Canete also predicted that the EU would seek new alliances from the world’s largest economies to the most vulnerable island states, as well as U.S. businesses and individuals supportive of the accord.

 

Japanese Environment Minister Koichi Yamamoto

“The decision made by U.S. President Trump amounts to turning their backs on the wisdom of humanity. I'm very disappointed... I am angry,” Japanese Environment Minister Koichi Yamamoto told a news conference on Friday in an unusually frank tone.

Justin Trudeau, Canada PM

While the U.S. decision is disheartening, we remain inspired by the growing momentum around the world to combat climate change and transition to clean growth economies,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Antonio Guterres, U.N. Secretary-General

He called the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement “a major disappointment” and said it was “crucial that the United States remains a leader on environmental issues,” according to his spokesman.

Voreqe Bainimarama, Fiji PM

Voreqe Bainimarama, who in November will chair an annual climate summit in Germany, said he was deeply disappointed by Trump’s decision and did what he could to try to persuade Trump to stick with the agreement as nations tackle “the greatest challenge our planet has ever faced.” He said he was convinced the U.S. will eventually rejoin.

Other countries express regret

Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea also regretted the U.S. move and reiterated their commitment to implement the agreement. In Tokyo, an irate Koichi Yamamoto, the environment minister, said “I’m not just disappointed, but also feel anger.”

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso drew parallels to the U.S. setting up a plan to establish the League of Nations after World War I, only to back out later.

“Who created the League of the Nations? It was the United States who set up the League of the Nations. Then, once it started, who didn’t join in? The United States. I think that’s just how they are,” he told reporters.

In Mexico, former President Vicente Fox criticized Trump’s move, saying on Twitter- “He’s declaring war on the planet itself.” Fox, who has clashed with Trump since last year’s presidential campaign, said the U.S. leader’s decision “condemns this generation and those to come” and would leave “a dark legacy just to satisfy your greediness.”

Russia joined the chorus speaking out for the climate accord. Speaking to reporters on Thursday before Trump’s decision was announced, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said Russia “thinks highly” of the accords and sees no alternative to it. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov added that its implementation will not be as effective “without the key signatories.”

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more dangerous levels of warming sooner if the U.S. retreats from its pledge because America contributes so much to rising temperatures. Calculations suggest withdrawal could release up to 3 billion additional tons of carbon dioxide a year enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 5:17:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world-leaders-react-to-trump-dumping-paris-climate-treaty/article18705746.ece

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