The European Union has rejected Donald Trump’s offer to renegotiate the Paris climate agreement and pledged instead to bypass Washington to work with US business leaders and state governors to implement the historic accord’s commitments.
Less than 24 hours after the US president announced his decision to withdraw from the 2015 agreement and strike a new, less ambitious deal with the world, Brussels declared its outright refusal to engage in such talks.
EU officials will instead cut out the White House to deal directly with the US states and major corporations, many of whom who have already pledged to live by the terms forged in Paris.
Miguel Arias Cañete, the European commissioner for climate action, said a global agreement should not be put at the whim of a domestic election. “The Paris agreement is fit for purpose,” the Spanish politician said, gripping a copy of the document that 195 countries have pledged to support. “The Paris agreement is here to stay. The 29 articles of this Paris agreement are not to be renegotiated. They are to be implemented. That’s what the EU will do.”
Cañete, who was speaking in Brussels after finalising a joint statement with China on accelerating efforts to reduce carbon emissions, said: “The world can continue to count on the EU on providing global leadership fighting climate change … We will do so developing strong partnerships.
“The fight against climate change cannot depend on the result of elections in one country of another. When a country signs an international agreement it has to fulfil its commitments. There will be new administrations. I’m pretty sure President Trump hasn’t read the articles of this treaty. There is nothing to renegotiate here.”
Trump’s move has been met with a chorus of disapproval from global leaders and blue chip companies including Facebook, Apple, Ford and Microsoft.