Germany and China should cooperate on protecting climate -Merkel

But "they did not sign (the climate statement) due to the fact they did not agree on market economy status", the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Director of the Center for EU Studies at Renmin University, Wang Yiwei, said China and the EU can cooperate to taking a leading role in tackling climate change and setting new standards for technologies like electronic vehicles, changing the "traditional confrontational" stance between China and the West.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced Thursday that they would strengthen their cooperation to promote peace and stability in the world "at a time of global uncertainties".

"There have been changes in the global situation and there have been rising uncertainties and destabilizing factors", Li said.

European Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete told reporters in Brussels he deeply regretted the United States pullout from the pact to fight the dangers of global warming, which was signed by more than 190 countries, and said it could not be renegotiated as Trump has suggested.

A concluding news conference by Juncker, Li and European Council President Donald Tusk was delayed by four hours as the two sides prolonged their talks in the vain hope of bridging the divide on trade.

After a tumultuous week hosting U.S. President Donald Trump, European leaders will look to fare better when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Brussels on Thursday.

In addition to picking needless public fights with Mexico, Canada, Germany, NATO countries and even Australia while cozying up to the dictators of Russia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, Trump has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and now from the Paris agreement to reduce man-made carbon emissions that are poisoning the planet.

The European Union's top climate change official, Miguel Arias Canente, said in a statement that Trump's decision to leave the Paris accord made it "a sad day for the global community", adding that the bloc "deeply regrets the unilateral decision".

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.

Leaders in Europe, China and India have repeatedly insisted that they will carry on tackling global warming even if the US opted out.

Chief executive Odd Arild Grefstad cited the growth of renewable energy in USA states such as Texas, New York and California as signs that "the world has started the transition from fossil to a renewable economy".

China has surpassed the USA to become the world's top emitter of carbon dioxide in recent years.

"The increasing impacts of climate change require a decisive response", they will say.

But European officials insisted that the deal would remain on track. The discord prompted Merkel to suggest the USA had become an unreliable partner. While traveling overseas last week, Trump was repeatedly pressed to stay in the deal by European leaders and the Vatican.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists advocacy group, said "I don't think any other countries will follow the USA out of Paris, so if he does leave, Trump will be in splendid isolation with the leaders of Syria and Nicaragua".

Climate experts said Li's remarks showed Beijing was keenly aware of the possible far-reaching impact of an American withdrawal from the Paris climate accord on the existing global geopolitical order.

  • Zachary Reyes