Comment by Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks on US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement
"I regret the President’s decision. The damage this causes to multilateral cooperation is even more severe than the damage done to international climate action. The unique thing about Paris is that it showcases the world’s determination to make a common effort to tackle one of the most serious global problems of our times. The Trump administration has now announced to pull out of this joint project. By leaving, the US administration is throwing away a precious opportunity for forward-looking development in the United States. This decision harms the United States itself most of all.
Climate action will continue and will not be stopped by this decision. Large parts of the business sector in the US are already gearing themselves up for a greenhouse gas-neutral future. They recognise the immense economic opportunities which that future offers. They will not be moved away from their path by their President’s decision.
As far as the implementation of the Paris Agreement is concerned, I remain optimistic, because on top of all this, the rest of the world backs the agreement. Over the past few weeks we have had many encouraging signals from Europe, China, Russia, India, Canada and many other countries. The rest of the world is closing ranks, the commitment to climate action has become even stronger. Trump has opted for the past, the rest of the world has chosen the future.
Internationally speaking, however, the US is leaving us with a leadership vacuum. Over the years, the US has been a valuable ally on global climate action. Without the United States, the historic breakthrough in Paris would not have been possible. But the Paris Agreement will endure, even without the US. Others will lead the way and we Europeans will certainly be among them."