Published: Sat, June 03, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

China likely to gain as US withdraws from Paris agreement


Pacific Islands at risk of being swallowed by rising seas accused Washington of "abandoning" vulnerable nations and expressed dismay Friday after Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the Paris climate deal. NPR journalists fact-checked and added context to his remarks, including comments about the economy and US energy sector.

Following Trump's carefully stage-managed announcement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni put out a joint statement in which they pledged to implement the Paris climate agreement notwithstanding the withdrawal of the US.

The Paris Agreement, or the Paris Climate Change Accord, is a global project that works for dealing with global warming, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, etc.

They also asserted that the USA could not unilaterally renegotiate the 2015 agreement - contrary to a suggestion made by Trump during his Thursday announcement.

Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga said the Americans were turning their backs on his country in its time of need, despite their alliance during World War II.

Ellen from Stamford, Connecticut, called to say that this shows Trump is "more interested in saving a few pennies than he is in looking forward to a new era where it's going to be very important to find replacements for fossil fuels".

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Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who will serve as president of upcoming United Nations climate talks in Germany later this year, labeled the U.S. move "deeply disappointing" but he said the battle to contain the threats to the environment would continue.

The US President also faced hard phone calls with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and UK Prime Minister Theresa May following Thursday's announcement.

Trump's announcement on Thursday that he would take the United States out of the Paris accord, saying it would undermine the US economy and cost jobs, drew anger and condemnation from world leaders and heads of industry. "We can not overlook the fact that climate change remains one of the biggest environmental risks to humanity". "I can assure you that France will not give up the fight".

"We are getting out", he promised, "but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that is fair".

The global deal is a "vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies", they said. The UN body that facilitated the deal said it "cannot be renegotiated based on the request of a single party".

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert wrote on Twitter that the German chancellor had spoken with Donald Trump not long after his announcement to express her "regret." Time reports that at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit last week, he and Donald Trump had a handshake showdown, with Macron reportedly gripping the USA president's hand until both their knuckles turned white. Apart from governments, an entire spectrum of actors, including religious leaders, bankers, youth, ordinary citizens from across the world, scientists, investment groups and CEOs of some of the world's largest corporations have committed to strong and quick climate action, he asserted.

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