'Trump's climate claims on China, India false'

In Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron turned Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan on its head, saying in a rare English-language statement that it was time to "make the planet great again".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp, had supported staying in the pact.

The controversial decision by President Donald Trump followed a meeting in Germany between China's Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, where the leaders pledged to work together on a cleaner environment. He said the United States will continue efforts to reduce its emissions despite Trump's decision.

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted that the USA withdrawal won't prevent the rest of the world from pressing ahead with efforts to curb global warming.

Though Trump left the door open for renegotiating the agreement or entering a "new transaction", neither India nor China, both major players in the signing of the Paris accord, indicated they were inclined to go back to the negotiating table.

U.S. President Donald Trump waits on the arrival of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House May 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. At one point he suggested a renegotiation could take place, an idea that was unceremoniously slapped down by partners. "Industry must now lead and not depend on government". Of course, when the newly appointed Trump Administration declared their interest in withdrawing "for economic growth in America", the tech giant attempted to sway the decision.

"If we can grow our economy, we're going to consume more and more products", he said.

"We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore".

India, a major polluter and a growing economy, has kept mum on whether the USA decision will affect Indian energy policy, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi - who is coming to Paris on Saturday to meet Macron - offered no reaction to Trump's decision.

The Paris Agreement is a consensus within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.

However, it remains unclear just how efficient cross-city and cross-state climate pacts will ultimately be in the face of a federal government determined to loosen restrictions on emissions and ramp up coal and natural gas production. A weakening of those standards might help sell more SUVs to USA consumers, but automakers still have to design and build electric and other fuel-efficient cars to meet mileage standards in California, China, Europe and elsewhere, Lindland said.

Tillerson said people need to recognize that the U.S. has a "terrific record" of reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions, adding that it is "something I think we can be proud of".

Conway made similar remarks in an interview on Fox News, citing "fairness" to American workers and businesses. "We need to give people hope across the globe and stand up for our communities".

  • Audrey Hill