European, Chinese leaders unite on Paris climate deal after reports Trump may withdraw

European, Chinese leaders unite on Paris climate deal after reports Trump may withdraw
© Getty Images

Chinese and European Union leaders pledged Thursday to remain committed to the Paris agreement on climate change, amid recent reports that President Trump will pull the U.S. out of the deal, CNN reported.

Trump is expected to announce his decision to pull out of the Paris agreement later Thursday, two senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the president’s plan told CNN Wednesday.

The reports that the U.S. will pull out has reportedly united powers such as the EU and China in an unusual alliance meant to uphold the agreement.  

Miguel Arias Cañete, an EU commissioner on energy, told the news network in a statement that the EU and China "are joining forces to forge ahead on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerate the global transition to clean energy.”

ADVERTISEMENT

"No one should be left behind, but the EU and China have decided to move forward. Our successful cooperation on issues like emissions trading and clean technologies are bearing fruit. Now is the time to further strengthen these ties to keep the wheels turning for ambitious global climate action,” the statement continues. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made an appearance Thursday to band together over their commitment to fight climate change, according to reports.

"We are living in times of global uncertainty and see our responsibility to expand our partnership in all the different areas and to push for a world order based on law," Merkel said during a joint press conference with Li in Berlin, Reuters reported.

"China has become a more important and strategic partner," Merkel added.

Li said China has "stayed true to its commitment" that it made when it signed the Paris agreement. China emits the highest levels of carbon dioxide in the world, with the United States ranking second.

"Fighting climate change is a global consensus, not invented by China," Li said, seemingly referencing a tweet by Trump in 2012.

Pulling out of the agreement could have unforeseen consequences, with Paris agreement supporters saying that withdrawing will leave the U.S. isolated and cut out of international efforts to curb global warming. The Paris accord involves almost every other country in the world.