BEIJING — The United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement “won’t change the course of things” and is a “marginal” choice, according to French President Emmanuel Macron.
“When China, the European Union and Russia commit to [the Paris Agreement], the isolated choice of this or that [country] isn’t enough to change the course of things,” Macron said in a statement to the press alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing at the end of their bilateral meetings Wednesday.
They were Macron’s first comments on the matter after the U.S. formally started the withdrawal process from the climate change pact on Tuesday, two years after the Trump administration announced it would pull out of the deal. The U.S. will be the only country in the world that won’t be a party to the Paris pact, which calls on nations to set individual targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate change and biodiversity were high on the agenda of Macron and Xi’s bilateral meetings. The two leaders also published a document titled the “Beijing Call for the conservation of biodiversity and climate change,” which formalized the joint-leadership role they’ve taken on in support of the Paris Agreement and further elevated the importance of preserving biodiversity.
In the Beijing Call, the two leaders reaffirmed their “firm support of the Paris Agreement, which they consider an irreversible process and a compass for strong action on climate,” and underlined that “trade agreements must be compatible with the objectives of the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change], the Paris Agreement and the 2030 sustainable development program.”
Macron also said he would like to get “very concrete results” on climate and biodiversity issues at 2020 EU-China summit, which is set to be held in Leipzig in Germany next year.