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US urged not to ditch Paris climate accord

May 22, 2017

At climate change talks in Berlin, Germany and China have called for the US to remain a party to the Paris climate accord. US President Donald Trump has said the US might pull out, having called global warming a hoax.

8. Petersberger Klimadialog - Umweltministerin Barbara Hendricks & Xie Zhenua, China
Image: picture.alliance/dpa/K. Nietfeld

Both Germany and China on Monday urged the US to stand by its signing of the Paris Accord, ahead of an expected decision on whether Washington will ditch the agreement.

In a joint statement at the beginning of the Petersburger Climate Dialogue in Berlin, the two countries' environment ministers urged Washington not to abandon the agreement.

"We are making representations at every level for the USA to remain part of the climate change agreement," said German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks.

Hendricks said she believed the US remaining inside the agreement would shore up efforts to curb rising temperatures, and that it could also be economically advantageous for the US.

Read more: Optimism at climate conference, despite US hesitation

US President Donald Trump has already signaled a wish to withdraw from the Paris Accord.The president once said climate change was a hoax invented by China to weaken the US in terms of exports.

Hendricks stressed that, while any US abandonment of the treaty would be damaging, it need not be the end.

"In the case of an exit, it would be crucial for most of the rest of the world to remain in favor of climate protection," said Hendricks. "I am convinced that we will succeed. There will be no exit domino effect."

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China, which was also one of the parties to the treaty, has said it will implement the agreement "100 percent."

Chinese Environment Minister Xie Zhenhua echoed the words of his president, Xi Jinping, alluding to the responsibility for future generations. "This is the position of China with regard to the current uncertainties," Xie said.

Read more: 10 incredible things climate change will do

Representatives from some 30 countries around the world were present in Berlin on Monday for the talks which will take place over two days.

The second day of the conference will see German Chancellor Angela Merkel take to the podium for a keynote speech. The Prime Minister of Fiji, Josaia Voreqe - whose nation will chair a UN climate conference to be held in the German city of Bonn in November - is also set to address delegates.

The Paris Accord seeks to keep the rise in temperatures within two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, with a more optimistic limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

rc/rt (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)