EU chief: EU, China believes Trump climate decision 'a big mistake'

Though he is leaving the agreement, he said he is open to negotiating an alternative climate deal.

BRUSSELS (AP) - A top European Union official says the EU and China believe that President Donald Trump made a mistake by pulling the United States out of a landmark international climate agreement.

Standing alongside Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, EU Council President Donald Tusk said Friday that "We are convinced that yesterday's decision by the United States to leave the Paris agreement is a big mistake."

Brussels and Beijing are reaffirming their commitment to the agreement and laying out steps for achieving some of its goals.

Supporters of the decision in U.S. believe pulling out of the pact will save jobs, unburden industries, and save money.

International leaders and scientists are saying jobs can be created in green technology, which will give the China the edge. 

China has overtaken the U.S. in transitioning to renewable energy, generating a fifth of its electricity from renewable sources. The U.S. only sources about 13 percent of its electricity from renewables.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson downplayed the significance of the U.S. pullout from the Paris climate pact saying that the U.S. has a "terrific record" of reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions.

"That was done in the absence of the Paris agreement," Tillerson told the Associated Press, "I don't think we're going to change our effort to reduce our emission in the future, either."

President Trump did say he plans to 'renegotiate' or create an 'entirely new transaction, on terms that are fair to the United States.' But other global leaders involved in the Paris Accord reacted by saying it wasn't up for negotiation. 

Jill Colvin, Josh Lederman, and Matthew Lee of the Associated Press contributed to this report

© 2017 Associated Press


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