President Donald Trump on Thursday announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, eliciting rebuke from many world leaders who accused the United States of turning its back on the planet and, by extension, humanity.
The agreement — an ambitious plan to combat, control and adapt to climate change — is largely viewed as a last-ditch effort to shield Earth from the devastating effects of global warming. The accord was signed during a 2015 conference in the French capital and ratified by the United States one year later.
With the exception of war-torn Syria and Nicaragua, which insists the agreement isn’t tough enough, every country in the world has signed on to its provisions.
However, Trump on Thursday opted out of the accord, saying: “We’re getting out. And we will start to renegotiate and we’ll see if there’s a better deal. If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”
The leaders of Germany, France and Italy responded by expressing their disappointment and asserting that the accord could not be renegotiated. Others slammed Trump for what they characterized as reckless abandonment.
Below is a quick rundown of international reaction:
Brazil expressed “profound concern and disappointment” with Trump’s decision to exit the climate agreement.
“The Brazilian Government received with profound concern and disappointment the announcement made today, June 1, that the government of the United States of America intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and ‘renegotiate’ its reentry. Brazil is seriously concerned with the negative impact of such decision on the multilateral dialogue and cooperation to respond to global changes,” the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Environment said in a joint statement.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed disappointment in the United States for reneging on the Paris Agreement.
Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner of Climate Action & Energy, accused the United States of turning its back on efforts to save the planet.
President Emmanuel Macron said he respected Trump’s decision, but characterized it as a “mistake.”
“Today, the President of the United States Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement. I do respect his decision, but I do think it is an actual mistake both for the US and for our planet,” he said in a televised speech.
Borrowing from Trump’s famous slogan, Macron added: “We all share the same responsibility to make our planet great again.”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also had some harsh words for the US President, warning that his abandonment of the climate accord would have dire results.
“This unprecedented diplomatic feat would never have been possible without the involvement of the United States of America,” she said in a statement. “By withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement, President Trump commits today a mistake with fatal consequences.”
The mayor also tweeted a photograph of City Hall illuminated in green, an affirmation of the city’s commitment to the environment.
Steffen Seibert, spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the chancellor was disappointed in Trump’s decision and affirmed Germany’s commitment to the accord.
Martin Schulz, head of Germany’s Social Democratic Party, was more critical. He suggested Trump doesn’t live in reality, and even referenced the President’s push of Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic at a recent NATO summit.
Former President Vicente Fox Quesada, a longtime critic of Trump, said the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement amounts to a declaration of war on the planet.
Margot Wallström, minister for foreign affairs, said Trump’s decision abandoned future generations.