- Title: EU ready for climate leadership in case of U.S. withdrawal from Paris deal
- Date: 31st May 2017
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (FILE) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF EUROPEAN COMMISSION, FLAGS EUROPEAN FLAGS
- Embargoed: 14th June 2017 15:08
- Keywords: climate change Trump EU Commission energy global warming Paris climate deal COP21
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Environment,Climate Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016J669MV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A withdrawal by the United States from the Paris climate deal would be disappointing but the European Union stood ready to take global leadership on this issue, the European Commission said on Wednesday (May 31), as media reports were circulating that the United States would formally withdraw from the deal.
The EU's Energy Commissioner, Maros Sefcovic, said that if this was what U.S. President Donald Trump decided to do, it would not spell disaster for mankind, putting his faith in the ability of other nations to lead the way.
Sefcovic also sought to emphasise what he described as the "business sense" in pursuing a change in energy sourcing towards renewables and away from polluting processes.
The Paris Climate Agreement, agreed on by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015, aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Under the pact, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.
A pullout also would be one more step by the Republican president to erase the legacy of his predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama, who helped broker the accord and praised it during a trip to Europe this month.
Trump has announced that he will make a decision on whether the U.S. will stay in the deal this week, and it is now widely believed he will decide to leave it, likely to be in a bid to protect the coal heartlands of Rust Belt states that clinched him his election victory in November, and his long-maintained denial that climate change is happening.
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