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Trump announces US is exiting Paris climate pact

By ZHAO HUANXIN in Washington | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-02 04:23

Trump announces US is exiting Paris climate pact

US President Donald Trump announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1. [Photo/Agencies]

US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday afternoon that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, the global climate pact that was sanctioned by his predecessor and nearly 200 other world leaders.

The president confirmed America's "withdrawal" in a nearly half-hour speech in the White House Rose Garden, fulfilling a top campaign pledge.

"As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country," Trump said.

The president said the 2015 accord had given other countries an unfair advantage over US industry and destroyed American jobs.

"So we're getting out but we'll start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that's fair. And if we can, that's great. And if we can't, that's fine," he said.

Former President Barack Obama criticized his successor for pulling out of pact, saying the Trump administration is joining "a small handful of nations that reject the future" by withdrawing from the Paris agreement.

Under the Obama administration, the US had agreed to reduce emissions to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025.

"Even in the absence of American leadership; even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I'm confident that our 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," Obama said in a statement.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, while visiting Germany on Thursday, said combating climate change is a global consensus and China pledged to tackle climate change "steadfastly".

In a joint press conference with his German counterpart Angela Merkel in Berlin, Li said China will continue to work steadfastly to implement the commitment of the Paris climate deal and join hands with all parties to tackle climate change.

Li, who is on a three-day official visit to Europe, said China, a large developing country, should shoulder its international responsibilities to jointly address the challenge of climate change with other countries.

“With tremendous efforts, China will move towards the 2030 goal step-by-step steadfastly," Li said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying also said on Thursday in Beijing that China will continue to fulfill its Paris pledges “no matter what stances others take”.

Neither Li nor Hua mentioned the United States specifically.

The Paris Agreement was sanctioned by 196 parties in Paris in 2015 and it went into effect in November last year. The pact sets a target of holding the global average rise in temperature below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and preferably below 1.5 degrees.

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