Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Xi, Macron unite as US withdraws from Paris climate deal




Xi, Macron unite as US withdraws from Paris climate deal

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Xi Jinping and Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP

Xi, Macron unite as US withdraws from Paris climate deal

Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron declared on Wednesday that the Paris climate pact was “irreversible”, showing a united front after Washington formally withdrew from the accord this week.

Major powers expressed regret and concern after US President Donald Trump went ahead with the pullout from the Paris accord despite mounting evidence of the reality and impact of climate change.

Washington presented its withdrawal letter to the UN on Monday, the first possible date under the accord negotiated by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, making the world’s largest economy the sole outlier from the agreement.

In a joint written statement, Xi and Macron reaffirmed “their firm support for the Paris accord, which they consider as an irreversible process and a compass for strong action on climate”.

Without directly naming the US, Macron said he “deplores the choices made by others” as he sat next to Xi following the talks at the imposing Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital Beijing.

“But I want to look at them as marginal choices,” Macron said.

With the EU, China and Russia backing the pact, he added, “the isolated choice of one or another is not enough to change the course of the world. It only leads to marginalisation”.

In his remarks, Xi took a veiled swipe at the US, which launched a trade war with China last year and has angered Beijing on various diplomatic issues.

“We advocate for mutual respect and equal treatment, and are opposed to the law of the jungle and acts of intimidation.

“We advocate for openness, inclusion and for mutually beneficial cooperation, and are opposed to protectionism and a zero-sum game,” Xi said.

China’s efforts against climate change are key as it is the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Xi also called on the international community to “jointly protect our homeland planet Earth”, saying “we are against the attempt to place national interests above the common interests of humanity”.

In a document titled the Beijing Call for Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change, the two leaders voice their determination to improve international cooperation to “ensure a complete and efficient implementation of the Paris accord”.

The document includes a commitment to restoring almost a third of degraded land as well as eliminating fossil fuel subsidies in the medium term.

Macron capped his second visit to China, which started in Shanghai on Monday, with a slew of deals and discussions on trade and the Iranian nuclear issue, with the French leader saying he also raised human rights issues with the Chinese president.

The deals include an agreement to protect 200 European and Chinese agricultural products – whose names are tied to their regions – against counterfeiting, from Champagne to Feta cheese and Panjin rice.

The two sides also committed to signing a contract by January 31 next year for the construction of a nuclear fuel recycling plant in China, which would involve French energy giant Orano.

On Iran, Macron said they agreed to deepen joint efforts to convince Tehran to return to “fully respect its obligations” under the 2015 nuclear deal.

Washington’s abandonment of the agreement in May last year, followed by its reimposition of crippling sanctions, prompted Tehran to begin a phased suspension of its own commitments.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that Iran would resume uranium enrichment at an underground plant south of Tehran.

Iran has repeatedly warned the remaining parties to the deal – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – that the agreement can only be rescued if they help it circumvent US sanctions.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with