French leaders slam Trump Cop21 pullout

Green campiagners arrange their bodies to form a message in front of Paris's Eiffel Tower during the Cop21 talks
Green campiagners arrange their bodies to form a message in front of Paris's Eiffel Tower during the Cop21 talks Reuters/Benoit Tessier

French and world leaders reacted furiously to President Donald Trump announcement that the United States is quitting the 2015 Paris climate agreement. President Emmanuel Macron urged climate defenders to "make our planet great again", while ex-minister Laurent Fabius, who chaired the Cop21 talks, slammed the move as "shameful".


"I reaffirm clearly that the Paris Agreement remains irreversible and will be implemented not just by France but by all the other nations," Macron said in a TV address broadcast both in French and English.

"To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the president the United States, I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland. I call on them, come and work here with us, to work together on concrete solutions for our climate, our environment."

Tweaking Trump's "Make America great again" slogan, he promised "We will succeed because we are fully committed, because wherever we live, whoever we are, we all share the same responsibility: make our planet great again."

In a rare joint statement, Germany, France and Italy repeated Macron's assertion that the "the agreement cannot be renegotiated" and noted Trump's decision "with regret".

Macron and German leader Angela Merkel confirmed their commitment to the agreement in a phone conversation on Thursday evening.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Friday called Trump's move "calamitous", arguing that the US president is "making a mistake for the interests of his country and his people and a blunder for the future of our planet".

Fabius slams 'shameless lie'

Fabius was even more vehement on France 2 TV on Friday.

"This decision, this speech, is a shameful blunder and a major error," he stormed, adding that it was based on "lies" and accusing Trump of "extraordinary arrogance".

The US president's claim that he was acting in the interests of his country's economy was a "shameless lie", the former foreign affairs minister declared, arguing that more jobs will be created in green energy than will be lost in "outdated sectors".

Even Florian Philippot of the far-right National Front described the decision as "pretty heartbreaking".

It is "regrettable" but more symbolically than for the content of the agreement, "since we know that the Paris agreement was very imperfect and rather unambitious", he told RFI.

National Front leader Marine Le Pen also said the move was "regrettable" but warned that it would be "counterproductive to react with agrressiveness or despondency".

Obama calls for resistance

The Cop21 accord was signed in Paris in 2015 when Barack Obama was US president.

Its 195 signatories agreed on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which cause global warming, which is blamed for melting ice caps and glaciers, rising sea levels and more violent weather events.

Obama quickly issued a statement encouraging a national rejection of Trump's announcement.

In the business world, the heads of Disney, General Motors, General Electric, Exxon Mobil and Goldman Sachs all rejected the president's announcement.

And Elon Musk, the head of Tesla, announced he was quitting Trump's advisory councils on business in protest.

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