Statement by Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete on the US announcement to withdraw from the Paris Agreement
Brussels, 1 June 2017
"Today is a sad day for the global community, as a key partner turns its back on the fight against climate change. The EU deeply regrets the unilateral decision by the Trump administration to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Agreement brought us together in very challenging times. It is an unprecedented multilateral partnership between nearly 200 countries, supported by companies and communities across the world, to address a problem that threatens us all. It demonstrates our generation’s responsibility towards this and future generations.
The Paris Agreement is fit for purpose. Paris is ambitious yet not prescriptive. 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. 195 countries have signed the Paris Agreement, 195 different paths to meeting the Paris goals.
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.
The EU will strengthen its existing partnerships and seek new alliances from the world’s largest economies to the most vulnerable island states. This partnership will of course include the many US businesses, citizens and communities that have voiced their support for Paris and are taking ambitious climate action. Together, we will stand by Paris, we will implement Paris.
We will do this because it is in our common interest. We see the Paris Agreement and the low-carbon transition for what it is, the irreversible growth engine of our economies and the key to protecting our planet.
Today’s announcement has galvanised us rather than weakened us, and this vacuum will be filled by new broad committed leadership. Europe and its strong partners all around the world are ready to 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."