French President Hollande Set for Showdown With Trump Over Paris Climate Deal

France’s Socialist President has said the Paris climate change agreement is “irreversible”, in a warning to President-elect Donald Trump who wants to scrap the deal.

François Hollande was speaking a day after a United Nations climate summit in Marrakesh, Morocco, when he claimed Mr. Trump had no choice but to abide by the decision of his predecessor President Barack Obama.

“This Paris agreement… is irreversible, no one can get out of it,” Mr. Hollande said during a speech in the south-west of France.

“And even if he could be tempted, there will be forces, amongst them American democracy, who will ensure that it is respected”, he added.

World leaders pose for a family photo at the UN World Climate Change Conference 2016 in Marrakesh on November 15, 2016. The US "must respect" the commitments made under President Barack Obama, his French counterpart Francois Hollande said at the UN climate summit held in the shadow of Donald Trump's victory. / AFP / FADEL SENNA (Photo credit should read FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

World leaders pose for a family photo at the UN World Climate Change Conference 2016 in Marrakesh on November 15, 2016. The US “must respect” the commitments made under President Barack Obama, his French counterpart Francois Hollande said at the UN climate summit held in the shadow of Donald Trump’s victory. (FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

Mr. Trump has been vocal about his sceptical attitude towards climate change deals, questioning their effect on growth and Western industry.

“Give me clean, beautiful and healthy air – not the same old climate change (global warming) bullshit! I am tired of hearing this nonsense”, he tweeted on the 29th of January 2014.

The Paris accord went into effect on November 4, after being ratifying following the agreement being adopted at the UN climate conference in December 2015.

The incoming head of the UN body that will be implementing it, Moroccan foreign minister Salaheddine Mezouar, told AFP after the meeting of Marrakesh last week: “The Paris Agreement is here… Its entry into force means that governments must face up to their responsibilities.”

“It would be, I think, extremely difficult to retreat – there’s no turning back,” he added.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also claimed that Mr. Trump will come to understand the “seriousness and urgency” of the deal.

Last Thursday, President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel penned a joint op-ed, insisting, “Our countries share a joint responsibility to protect and preserve our way of life”.

They claimed that a “U.S.-German partnership was essential to achieving a global agreement in Paris that offers the world a framework for protecting our planet”.


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