19 June 2017

EU deepening ties with climate pact members after US withdraws

By Dan Drollette Jr

The European Union said today it was deepening alliances with other signatories of the Paris Agreement to ensure its implementation and rejecting President Donald Trump's demands to renegotiate the pact, said a story in the Reuters news service.

The EU pledged to team up with China, the world's largest climate polluter, to achieve the goal of limiting global warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. The Paris accord "cannot be renegotiated," the foreign ministers of the bloc's 28 nations said in a joint statement at their meeting in Luxembourg.

The EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting that the bloc today adopted "very strong language" to underscore the need to adhere to the commitments previously made by the United States in the climate pact. "We are building strong global alliances to make sure that the Paris Agreement will be upheld, even after Trump's decision to step back," Mogherini said.

Trump had claimed that participating in the pact would undermine the US economy, wipe out jobs, weaken national sovereignty, and put the United States at a permanent disadvantage.

Europe's attempt to soldier on without the United States seems to be part of a larger effort to take the wheel in world affairs: Europe's economy is picking up, the eurozone has not collapsed, Brexit is turning out to be less of a threat to the continent than expected, and the French elected a president who campaigned on building a more tightly integrated Europe, noted the New York Times in an article titled "America in retreat, Europe en marche." Rather than pulling back after Trump pulled out of Paris, people in the European Union are now talking of “the turnaround” and a potential “golden decade" for the 27-member pact. So far as efforts to control climate change go, "cooperation will find other routes, past the White House, to states and cities. 'There are forces in the United States that we know we can rely upon,' Ms. Goulard, the French defense minister, said in Singapore on June 3, 'and these forces will ultimately prevail.' ”

 

Publication Name: 
Reuters