U.S. formally exits climate pact
“The U.S. withdrawal will leave a gap in our regime, and the global efforts to achieve the goals and ambitions of the Paris Agreement,” Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told Reuters.
The United States still remains a party to the UNFCCC and Espinosa said the body will be “ready to assist the U.S. in any effort in order to rejoin the Paris Agreement”.
The UNFCCC, Britain, France, Chile and Italy said in a joint statement that they “note with regret” the U.S. withdrawal.
“We remain committed to working with all U.S. stakeholders and partners around the world to accelerate climate action,” the statement said.
“If climate deniers keep control of the White House and Congress, delivering a climate-safe planet will be more challenging,” said Laurence Tubiana, a former French diplomat instrumental in brokering the Paris accord, who now heads the non-profit European Climate Foundation.
Calling the withdrawal a “lost opportunity”, Tanguy Gahouma-Bekale, chair of the African Group of Negotiators in global climate talks, said it would also create a shortfall in climate finances.He pointed to an Obama-era pledge to contribute $3 billion to a fund to help vulnerable countries tackle climate change, of which only $1 billion was delivered. ■