EU, China to unite on global warming after Trump withdrawal

04 June 2017, 05:40 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang

It will be widely seen as a rebuff to the United States, as President Trump deliberates on withdrawal from the accord.

Juncker told the business conference on Friday that China and the European Union recognised the need for worldwide solutions and this was nowhere more important than full implementation of the Paris agreement."There is no reverse gear to energy transition".

"The EU and China consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever", the 28 EU countries and China said in a joint statement.

Chief executive Odd Arild Grefstad cited the growth of renewable energy in USA states such as Texas, New York and California as signs that "the world has started the transition from fossil to a renewable economy".

After Trump's announcements, Juncker called on the European Union and China to lead the implementation of that agreement, signed in 2015 by almost 200 countries to prevent global warming.

"We are convinced that the implementation of the Paris Agreement offers substantial economic opportunities for prosperity and growth in our countries and on a global scale", the three leaders said".

Mr Trump's announcment on Thursday that he would take the United States out of the Paris deal, saying it would undermine the USA economy and cost jobs, drew anger and condemnation from world leaders and heads of industry.

During a trip to Europe this week, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi expressed India's commitment to fighting climate change and said it would be a "crime" to spoil the environment for future generations.

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"That is a competitive distortion against which we can only protect ourselves by saying: Whoever wants to have access to our market - and the European market is the biggest market in the world - needs to respect the European standards", he added, as cited by Politico.

At the weekend G7 summit of wealthy nations, European and Canadian officials warned Trump that the United States risked ceding global leadership on combating climate change to China if it withdrew from the Paris accord.

This is particularly troubling news for the US manufacturing sector.

Obama's effort to engage China's Xi on climate issues helped spur the change. Success on this front would lower greenhouse gas emissions, allowing the country to achieve its pledged reduction target from the Paris accord. Li and a major Chinese delegation are due to arrive in Brussels late Thursday following talks in Berlin.

A day after Trump rejected the Paris agreement, the European Union and Chinese leaders repeated their support for the deal.

The European Union has pledged to bypass Trump administration to work with USA business leaders and state governors to implement the historic accord's commitments.

Scientists say the planet is likely to reach more unsafe levels of warming sooner if the U.S. retreats from its pledge, because America contributes so much to rising temperatures. Li is scheduled to attend the 19th China-EU leaders' meeting in Brussels and pay an official visit to Belgium. 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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