- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 1, 2017

With President Trump pulling out of the Paris climate pact, European leaders on Thursday declared that such a move is final and that the U.S. will not be welcomed back into the deal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni and French President Emmanuel Macron released a joint statement an hour after Mr. Trump announced his decision, saying the landmark deal is “irreversible” and that America cannot change its commitment.

“We firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated,” the leaders said, also expressing “regret” with the move.

Mr. Trump said he’ll withdraw from the agreement, which currently calls for the U.S. to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025. The president said he’d try and secure new terms more favorable to the nation.

“We’re getting out, but we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine,” he said.

The text of the Paris deal seems to say that nations can only revise their emissions targets upward, meaning the U.S. could only adjust its commitment if it vowed to reduce pollution beyond the 26-percent threshold.

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump withdraws U.S. from Paris climate accord

It’s unclear whether the United Nations’ climate-change arm, which oversaw the Paris negotiations, will be willing to amend the deal to allow America to lessen its commitment.

Mr. Trump on Thursday called Ms. Merkel and Mr. Macron, along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Theresa May, to explain his decision.

“He also reassured the leaders that America remains committed to the Transatlantic alliance and to robust efforts to protect the environment,” the White House said in a readout of his phone calls. “He noted America’s strong record in reducing emissions and leading the development of clean energy technology, and he reiterated that the United States under the Trump Administration, will be the cleanest and most environmentally friendly country on Earth.”

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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