German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday the Paris climate pact was "essential", speaking hours before President Donald Trump was due to declare whether the United States would withdraw from it.
"I will wait for the decision," said Merkel, stressing that Germany — Europe's biggest economy, undergoing a transition to renewable energy — would stick to its commitments under the 2015 agreement.
"I consider it an essential treaty... and I am happy that other countries see it the same way," she added.
Fears were growing that Trump — who has called climate change a "hoax" and refused to sign up to a pledge on the deal at last week's G7 meeting in Italy — would pull Washington out of the landmark deal.
Earlier Thursday, also in Berlin, China's Premier Li Keqiang pledged to stay the course on implementing the accord, saying it was in China's own interest to do so.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said Tuesday in Berlin that failing to act on climate change would be "morally criminal". And European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has hit out at Trump's purported decision, noting it would take three or four years to exit from the Paris deal.
A US withdrawal would come less than 18 months after the historic 196-nation pact was adopted in the French capital, the fruit of a hard-fought agreement between Beijing and Washington under Barack Obama's leadership.
Published Date: Jun 01, 2017 10:25 pm | Updated Date: Jun 01, 2017 10:25 pm