US Climate Retreat a 'Global Setback'


The US withdrawal from the Paris climate accord is a global setback, but China, India and Europe are willing to step up their efforts to honour the pact, Chinese state media said Friday.

The official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary that US President Donald Trump's announcement on Thursday came "to the regret of almost all", although it was "anything but a surprise".

China is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, ahead of the United States, and Trump has repeatedly painted the pact as too easy on the Asian giant.

Hours ahead of Trump's announcement, China's Premier Li Keqiang pledged to stay the course on implementing the climate accord in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and urged other countries to do the same.

"Trump's decision to ditch the Paris deal will leave a fairly big shoe for a single country to fill," Xinhua wrote in a commentary titled "US withdrawal from Paris accord a global setback".

"But other major players including the European Union, China and India have reiterated their willingness to step up efforts in the face of the US change of heart over the landmark deal," it said.

Xinhua pointed to Washington's withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol on climate change in 2001, saying that the "US fiasco" has "taught us the hard way, and the world knows only too well that, with or without the US playing a leading role, they will have to honour their pledges under the Paris deal and work even harder to cut carbon emissions so as to secure a better future for the planet".