U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement united European politicians from across the political spectrum, eliciting disappointment, anger and pledges to stick with the effort to combat global warming.
Expected indignation poured in from French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
But even far-right French leader Marine Le Pen, who supports Trump, said the move was “of course regrettable.”
Macron trolled Trump, riffing on the American president’s own catchphrase — Make America Great Again — by saying it was time to “Make our planet great again.” Merkel said the world will continue dealing with climate change without Trump.
The German foreign office also took a swipe at the U.S. president, who in his speech Thursday said he represented the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris. It tweeted a link about German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel’s visit to Pittsburgh two weeks ago, in which the article said: “Here, the burning of coal and oil seems nothing less than prehistoric, and a return to the days before the Paris climate agreement is inconceivable.”
“The right time to look back at our visit to #Pittsburgh 2 weeks ago,” the foreign office said.
Martin Schulz, the German Social Democratic contender for chancellor, said, “You can withdraw from a climate agreement but not from climate change, Mr. Trump.”
He also referenced Trump’s recent visit to Brussels, during which Trump pushed the Montenegrin prime minister aside to get to the front of a NATO photo op.
“Reality isn’t just another statesman you shove away,” Schulz said.
In the U.K., a spokesperson said Prime Minister Theresa May spoke to Trump about his decision to withdraw in a phone call, saying she “expressed her disappointment.”
However, May didn’t join with the leaders of France, Germany and Italy, who together condemned Trump’s decision. Instead, she said that after talking to Trump, the two “agreed on the importance of continued cooperation on wider energy issues.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called Trump’s move “reckless and regressive.” It was unclear however whether he was criticizing Trump or May when he said in a tweet: “Instead of handholding, I’ll work for a sustainable future for our planet,” to which he attached a picture of May and Trump holding hands at the White House.
Russia used the Trump announcement to cast doubt on the climate pact’s viability. Trump criticized the deal as largely meaningless for climate change as it was set up.
Kremlin aide Andrej Belousov said the agreement would be “unworkable” without the U.S., according to state-run news agency RIA.
On Thursday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who was Luxembourg’s prime minister, told POLITICO that “A Luxembourger is not afraid of an American,” referring to Trump. He tweeted on Friday that he was “deeply disappointed” by the U.S. The decision was “against what we stand for, contrary to what the world expects.”
Former French President François Hollande, under whose watch the Paris agreement was signed in 2015, singled out Trump for the policy reversal. “Donald Trump renounced the future, not the United States!” Hollande tweeted.
And Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy reaffirmed Spain’s commitment to the Paris accords.
“The EU will continue to lead the fight against climate change in the right direction,” he tweeted.