Top Merkel aide rejects Donald Trump’s call to renegotiate Paris climate deal

Head of the Chancellery Peter Altmaier. (Reuters File Photo)

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The head of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office on Friday dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump’s call to renegotiate a landmark 2015 global agreement to fight climate change.

Trump said on Thursday the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate deal, a move that fulfilled a major campaign pledge but drew condemnation from global leaders and executives. He said his administration would begin talks either to re-enter the Paris accord or to have a new deal with better terms for the United States.

Peter Altmaier, head of the German Chancellery, said that Trump’s decision was a disappointment, adding: “It’s sad that one of the most important allies in climate protection is pulling out with a single stroke of the pen.”

But the United States would not be in a position to reverse international efforts to fight global warming, Altmaier told ARD public broadcaster, adding that reopening negotiations on a new climate deal would be wrong.

“That’s why I’m convinced that this path will continue, that the deal will survive,” he said.

In the end, the U.S. government will damage its own economy by supporting the illusion that climate change can be ignored, Altmaier added.

China and the European Union are expected to make a show of unity over the fight against global warming at a summit in Brussels on Friday.

The meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and top EU officials will end with a joint statement, backed by all 28 EU states, committing the European Union and China to full implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.

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