EU 'deeply regrets' US Paris climate pact withdrawal

EU 'deeply regrets' US Paris climate pact withdrawal

Luxembourg (AFP) - The European Union on Monday blasted US President Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate change pact and said Brussels would continue to lead efforts to prevent global warming.

Trump caused outrage when he withdrew the United States -- one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases -- from the 2015 accord which is meant to curb rising temperatures driven by human activity.

"The Council (of EU member states) deeply regrets the unilateral decision by the US administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement," said a statement approved by the bloc's foreign ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg.

"The Paris Agreement brought us together in very challenging times... the Council reaffirms that the Paris Agreement is fit for purpose and cannot be renegotiated," it added.

Trump said the pact, signed by nearly 200 countries, hit the United States with "draconian financial and economic burdens" while competitors got off lightly.

"This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States," Trump said when announcing the withdrawal earlier this month.

Trump's decision was seen as a part of a new unilateralist approach in the White House, undermining international accords and especially the role of the United Nations.

In Monday's statement, the 28-nation EU repeated its "steadfast support for the United Nations as the core of a rules-based multilateral system".

"The EU and its member states remain united and absolutely committed to full and swift implementation of the Paris Agreement," it said.

"The world can continue to count on the EU for leadership in the global fight against climate change."