Trump pulls out of Paris Climate Agreement; "Cardinal error" says Dutch FM

The United States is pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, president Donald Trump announced in a statement at the White House on Thursday afternoon, local time. The Netherlands deplores this decision, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in response. Our country and the rest of the world remains committed to battling climate change, he stressed. Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders called Trump's decision a "cardinal error", Environment State Secretary Sharon Dijksma called it a "historic mistake".

Trump considers the Paris Climate Agreement a threat to the American economy. In his speech he boasted about how much the American economy improved since election day on November 8th last year. And it will improve even more now that the United States pulled out of the climate agreement, according to him. He added that he is willing to renegotiate the agreement or make a new one with "terms that are fair to the United States", he said.

"Tackling climate change is not only very necessary, it offers global economic opportunities", Rutte stressed after Trump's speech on Thursday, according to the Telegraaf. Rutte acknowledged that without the U.S. it will be "harder to achieve the objectives of the Paris agreement". But the devotion of the rest of the countries that singed the agreement, remains unchanged. "The Netherlands will continue to work fully for the climate agreement."

Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs is disappointed in the United States. "I regret this step. It is a cardinal error and harmful to citizens world wide. I don't see any wish for re-negotiation here. The Netherlands remains behind the climate agreement. And we are not alone. This was also apparent at the G7 summit, where six major industrial countries expressed their undisputed support for climate action. The change that was started in Paris in 2015 is impossible to stop."

State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure and Environment thinks the Americans are making a "historic mistake". But she agrees that the climate agreement is not to be stopped. Dijksma is not worried that other countries will follow Trump, but instead expects a counter reaction. "Over 190 countries, cities, regions, companies and organizations are still squarely behind the Paris agreement. We mourn today, but have to go on tomorrow. More than ever, the EU must now show leadership, intensify cooperation with China and other allies and show climate action."

Other European leaders are also disappointed in Trump. Germany, France and Italy released a joint statement in which they make clear that they will not negotiate the Paris Agreement again with Trump. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni called the Paris Climate Agreement a "vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies", reports. 

"I regret the decision of the U.S. president", Merkel said. "Other than that, all the strength for the global climate policy that preserves our planet."

Macron expressed similar sentiments.  "I will say clearly, we will definitely not renegotiate", he said in a televised speech. "Trump has made a big mistake. It's a gross mistake with consequences for the future of our planet." He also tweeted: "Make Our Planet Great Again!"