BY ELIZABETH FABRI
THE decision by President Donald Trump to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement has been called “a sad day” by the European Commission and “a disappointing move” by the Turnbull Government, which reaffirmed its pledge to the global climate accord.
Mr Trump withdrew his support for the agreement on 1 June, stating under the current accord the US economy would cost lose 2.7 million jobs by 2025.
“We are getting out,” Mr Trump said.
“But we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great.”
Yet, shortly after his address, leaders in France, Italy and Germany issued a joint statement that the climate accord would not be renegotiated.
The Paris Agreement was established in 2015 to strengthen global response to climate change and limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.
It was signed by more than 190 countries, and has since been ratified by 146 countries, including Australia, which announced its formal commitment in November last year, less than a day after Mr Trump was voted in as US President-elect.
Federal Energy minister Josh Frydenberg said the news of the US withdrawal was disappointing, but Australia would “follow through”.
“It’s important to have all the major emitters in the world participating in an agreement such as this,” Mr Frydenberg told ABC.
“It’s clearly preferable to have the US at the table.
“I’ve spoken to our Prime Minister this morning, who has just landed in Singapore, and we reiterate our commitments to the Paris accord; we believe to the targets we agreed to, a 26-28 per cent reduction in our emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels, are reasonable [and] achievable.
“We will beat them just as we beat our first Kyoto target, and we’re on track to beat our second Kyoto target.”
Mr Frydenberg said the targets of the Paris Accord were “reasonable” and “achievable”.
“I do believe that it is still a very meaningful agreement,” he said.
“Even without the US, around 70 per cent of the world’s emissions are covered by that agreement.”