Exit has 'galvanized' US support behind Paris accord


Montreal (AFP)

President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Accord has unwittingly "galvanized support" for American action to limit global warming, Canada's environment minister said Monday.

In an interview with AFP, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna pointed to strong US state, local and corporate rebukes of Trump's move and vows to press ahead without him to slash carbon emissions.

"All these discussions about whether the administration would stay or leave the Paris Accord," she said, "galvanized support for the agreement."

The minister said Canada's government, which under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau championed the Paris accord, was obviously "extremely disappointed" with the US decision to withdraw.

But, she added, "We were encouraged by the reactions in the United States of all sorts of people."

"State governors have risen, mayors have risen. And you have seen the companies. For the first time, (investment bank) Goldman Sachs' president wrote a tweet expressing his disappointment at the US policy and saying that it believes in the Paris agreement," she highlighted.

"There is a real opportunity for Canada to work with all these other actors... to step up action on climate," she said.

McKenna also dismissed Trump's view that exiting the Paris accord would breathe new life into traditional sectors like auto manufacturing, steel and coal mining.

On the latter, she commented: "The United States will not return to coal because natural gas costs so much less and it would make no sense."