US withdraws from Paris Climate Agreement

The US officially announced on Monday that it is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. The goal of keeping global warming two degrees below temperatures in the pre-industrial era places an "unfair economic burden" on the US, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. The announcement came at the earliest possible time, three years after the agreement came into effect, and will come into force on 3 November 2020. What does this mean for global climate policy?

Open/close all quotes
Deutschlandfunk (DE) /

No country is doing enough

Apart from endless discussions and announcements of ambitious goals, the rest of the world hasn't done much either, Deutschlandfunk puts in:

“So far hardly any country in the world is doing enough to keep global warming under two degrees, let alone keep it under 1.5. In this respect Germany and the European Union are further along than many other states. But despite all our professions of commitment, we too are dragging our feet when it comes to practising what we preach. That's why more than 11,000 scientists from around the world have declared a 'climate emergency'. ... It's directed not only at the US and its president, but at the entire global community - and rightly so.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Europe's ambitions deepen the rifts

In view of the ambitious goals the EU has set for itself, a transatlantic row is inevitable, Corriere della Sera complains:

“Now - as soon as Ursula von der Leyen's commission manages to take office - the EU wants to redouble its efforts. Despite, or perhaps precisely because of its marginality ('only' nine percent of the total global emissions are produced in the EU), and mainly with the goal of increasing its influence on the global situation, it intends to introduce a 'carbon border tax' - a tax on imported goods with a high CO2 content that is supposed to encourage other countries to follow the EU's example. Given the ongoing dispute with Washington over trade and tariffs, the 'carbon border tax' risks exacerbating the situation. ... The gap between the United States and Europe couldn't be wider.”

De Standaard (BE) /

Nothing can be relied on in the climate debate

The current initiatives by China and the EU Commission are just hot air, De Standard believes:

“At the UN Climate Summit in 2020 all countries are supposed to intensify their climate plans. But as things stand now, that's just wishful thinking. Only the EU and China are still taking the initiative. The plans of the new EU Commission look fine on paper, but it will take a huge amount of effort to convince the member states. ... Today Macron and Chinese president Xi Jinping are to sign a text stating that the Paris Climate Agreement is to remain non-negotiable. But that's no more than a ritualistic promise. ... Nothing is certain in the international climate debate. That is the only certainty.”