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EU Story 2017-18
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  EU reacts on the US announcing withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement
by Irene Kostaki

“The EU deeply regrets the unilateral decision by the Trump administration to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement,” said Commissioner for Climate action and energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, right after U.S. president Donald Trump announced the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Calling Trump’s announcement a “unilateral decision”, Cañete adds that the unprecedented multilateral partnership between nearly 200 countries, supported by companies and communities across the world, “demonstrates our generation’s responsibility towards this and future generations.“

“Today’s announcement has galvanised us rather than weakened us, and this vacuum will be filled by new broad committed leadership,” said the Commissioner, underlining that Europe and its partners will lead the way. “We will work together to face one of the most compelling challenges of our time. We will do it, together. We are on the right side of history.”

“The Paris Agreement allows each Party to forge its own path to contributing to the goals of preventing dangerous climate change. So there is room for the US to chart its own course within the Paris Agreement,” suggests Cañete.

“The Paris Agreement will endure. The world can continue to count on Europe for global leadership in the fight against climate change. Europe will lead through ambitious climate policies and through continued support to the poor and vulnerable,” adds the EU Climate Commissioner.

The global common interest according to Cañete is towards “the low-carbon transition for what it is, the irreversible growth engine of our economies,” concluded the Commissioner.

European Parliament

President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani immediately reacted to the announcement by Trump: “Pacta sunt servanda. The Paris Agreement must be respected. It is a matter of trust and leadership” said Tajani. “This Agreement is alive and we will take it forward with or without the US administration” he said.

“Those who choose to remain on the outside will miss a historic opportunity for citizens, the planet and the economy. The EU will continue to lead efforts against climate change and be a global pole of attraction for investment, innovation and technology, creating new jobs and boosting competitiveness” added the European Parliament president.

How might smaller emitters respond to the U.S. pulling out?

Leaders in Europe, China and India have repeatedly insisted that they will carry on tackling global warming even if the U.S. opts out. But as the world’s second-largest emitter pulling out, other countries of the 195 may feel less pressure to step up their own plans.

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