Emmanuel Macron pledges to ‘make our planet great again’

Leaders of France, Germany and Italy issue joint statement

 

French president Emmanuel Macron has said the world needs to “make our planet great again” after US president Donald Trump pulled his country out of the Paris climate agreement.

In an unprecedented English-language speech from the Elysee Palace, he said believed Mr Trump had made a mistake. “I do respect this decision but I do think it is an actual mistake both for the US and for our planet.

“Wherever we live, whoever we are, we all share the same responsibility: make our planet great again,” Macron added.

Mr Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement means the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases will exit the international effort to address dangerous global warming. It joins Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries not party to it.

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy said in a joint statement that they regretted the US 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 US would be willing to rejoin the accord if it could obtain more favourable terms, the three European leaders said the agreement could not be renegotiated “since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economics”.

In an announcement in the White House garden, Trump said: “The fact that the Paris deal hamstrings the United States while empowering some of the world’s top polluting countries should expel any doubt as to why foreign lobbyists should wish to keep our beautiful country tied up and bound down ? That’s not going to happen while I’m president, I’m sorry.”

He added: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, issued a rare statement saying the new administration had joined “a small handful of nations that reject the future”. But he said that US states, cities and businesses “will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got”.

Former vice-president Al Gore called the move “reckless and indefensible”, while among the business leaders to express regret over the move was Jeff Immelt, the chair and CEO of General Electric, who said “climate change is real” and “industry must now lead”. - Guardian Service