French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a joint statement reaffirming their strong support for the "irreversible" United Nations-sponsored Paris Agreement on climate change, from which the United States announced its departure this week.
The two countries "reaffirm their strong support for the Paris Agreement, which they see as an irreversible process and a compass for strong action on the climate," the statement said.
Reuters had reported a few days ago that the administration of President Donald Trump has already submitted documents to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement.
The US move is the first formal step in a year-long process to exit the global pact, part of a broader strategy by President Trump to reduce regulation of US industry.
However, scientists and many world governments are urging rapid action to combat the worst effects of climate change.
The vast majority of national commitments made in the 2015 Paris Agreement are not enough to prevent serious damage from global warming, scientists said in a new research report.
Reuters reported that China and France pledged at this year's G20 summit to "upgrade" their contributions against climate change beyond current ones to reflect "their highest possible ambition." The 2015 Paris Agreement encourages countries to make stronger promises if they can.
President Macron will travel with a trade delegation of 30 companies to China for the second time since he took office.
During his last trip last year, he said that Beijing's flagship "Belt and Road" project to develop global business infrastructure should not be "one-way."
Without citing the United States, Macron regretted that "other" countries decide to exit the agreement. "But I want to think that they are decisions that do not represent the general feeling," he said.
“Because when China, the European Union and Russia (which ratified the agreement a few weeks ago) seriously commit themselves, the isolated option of one country or another is not enough to change the direction of the world. It just helps isolate it, ”Macron said.
Sources: econews.com.au and france24.com