EU, China trade spat blocks climate statement

Juncker's comments came in the wake of a tense encounter between European leaders and the new American president last week in Brussels and at the G7 summit in Sicily, and hours before Trump was expected to announce his decision to pull the USA out of the 2015 Paris accord on climate change.

Trump announced on Thursday that the US would leave the 195-country Paris climate pact, fulfilling a high-profile campaign promise and taking his most drastic action yet to unravel Obama-era climate and environmental policies.

She added: "But from that grows a special responsibility for both countries - for Germany and China - in all global issues - for example for climate protection, for the prevention of violent conflicts or in worldwide trade policy".

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

The relationship and pragmatic cooperation between China and Belgium have always been a model in China's relations with European countries over the past 46 years since the two countries established their diplomatic links, he said. He said, "I do respect this decision but I do think it is an actual mistake both for the US and for our planet".

"The fight against climate change, and all the research, innovation and technological progress it will bring, will continue, with or without the U.S.", Tusk said.

Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who in November will chair an annual climate summit in Germany, said he was deeply disappointed by Trump's decision and did what he could to try to persuade Trump to stick with the agreement as nations tackle "the greatest challenge our planet has ever faced".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and China's Premier, Li Keqiang, left, address the media during a joint press conference as part of a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, June 1, 2017.

The EU official involved in organizing the EU-China meeting said it would will "send important signals for the multinational system", as Trump moves to unpick some of the worldwide trade agreements the US has signed up to.

Bainimarama said the decision is a grave disappointment for places like his Pacific island nation and USA coastal cities like NY and Miami that are vulnerable to climate change.

"I understand that if they decide to pull out it will be disappointing but I really don't think this will change the course of mankind", European Commission vice president for energy, Maros Sefcovic, said at a briefing.

"The Paris Agreement is proof that with shared political will and mutual trust, multilateralism can succeed in building fair and effective solutions to the most critical global problems of our time".

United States media reported Wednesday that Trump had chose to pull his country out of the accord but the unpredictable United States tycoon indicated he would keep the world guessing for another few days. Mr Johnson told Sky News that Britain still wants the U.S. to take the lead in fighting climate change and called on individual USA states to keep making progress on that front. Trump declared Thursday he was pulling the U.

Russian Federation joined the chorus speaking out for the climate accord.

Everyone cautioned that no decision was final until Trump announced it.

Trump is expected to announce his decision on Thursday afternoon US time (3 p.m. EDT; 1900 GMT).

  • Zachary Reyes