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EU ambassador in Uganda Schmidt baffled by Trump decision

FILE PHOTO: World leaders celebrate the adoption of the climate agreement in Paris 2015. Trump going against the deal.

– Big oil opposed –

Oil supermajors ExxonMobil and Chevron reiterated their support for the endangered agreement, while automaker General Motors said the White House’s decision would not lessen its resolve on the climate.

“GM will not waver from our commitment to the environment and our position on climate change has not changed,” the company said in a statement.

“International agreements aside, we remain committed to creating a better environment.”

Chevron spokeswoman Melissa Ritchie said her company “supports continuing with the Paris Agreement as it offers a first step towards a global framework.”

The accord aligns with the company’s own policy on carbon emissions, she said.

An Exxon spokesman said the 2015 accord was “critical” given the rising emissions from India and China.

“It’s the first major international accord to address climate change that includes emissions reduction pledges from both developed and developing economies,” he told AFP.

“We believe that the United States is well positioned to compete within the framework of the Paris agreement.”

The US Chamber of Commerce, a business lobby that had long criticized the prior Obama administration’s energy policies, said had it had not taken a position on the Paris Agreement but favored policies that both promoted energy production and protected the environment.

“America should choose a path for an energy future that is achievable, affordable and most importantly meaningful,” the organization said in a statement.

Matt Sonnesyn, vice president of the Business Roundtable, which includes the heads of major US corporations, said the private sector was part of the solution to climate change.

“Business Roundtable CEOs have long held the view that the consequences of climate change are potentially serious and far-reaching,” Sonnesyn said.

On Wednesday, a group of major US companies including Apple, Facebook, Gap, Google and Unilever signed off on a plea for the US to keep participating in the climate deal.

“Dear President Trump, as some of the largest companies based or operating in the United States, we strongly urge you to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement,” the letter read.

US climate decision leaves Europe incensed, dismayed

European leaders and green groups reacted with anger and dismay after Trump announced that the United States, the world’s second biggest carbon emitter, was quitting the 2015 Paris Agreement.

But they also pledged to defend the agreement and not to backtrack in the fight against climate change.

Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Union’s executive Commission, lashed Trump’s decision as “seriously wrong.”

The body’s commissioner for climate action and energy Miguel Arias Canete pledged continued “global leadership” on climate change.

“The EU deeply regrets the unilateral decision by the Trump administration,” he said in a statement.

“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.”

In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed “regret” at the decision, and called for a continuation of “climate policies which preserve our world.”

Seven Social Democratic ministers in her coalition government said the United States “is harming itself, we Europeans and all the people of the world.”

Major US companies including Apple, Facebook, Gap, Google and Unilever signed off on a plea for the US to keep participating in the climate deal.

In France, Paris city hall said it would illuminate its building in green on Thursday “in a sign of disapproval” of Trump’s announcement and to recall the determination of cities around the world to fight climate change.

In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said his country should not retreat from its actions on climate.

“Let’s not go backwards from the Paris Agreement,” he said on Twitter. “Italy is committed to reducing (carbon) emissions, to renewable energy, sustainable development.”

Among environment groups, Climate Action Network, said the withdrawal “signals that the Trump Administration is in total discord with both reality and the rest of the world.”

“Unfortunately, the first to suffer from this injudicious decision is the American people,” the group, an alliance of climate activists, said.

“This action is totally contrary to their best interests: their health, security, food supply, jobs and future.”

Friends of the Earth International said “pulling out of the Paris Agreement would make the US a rogue state on climate change. The rest of the world cannot let the US drag it down.”

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