The United States’ decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is “not the end of the world”, President János Áder told public radio on Friday.
The signatories to the agreement are prepared to meet its targets and most US states have also declared their support for the deal, he said.
Áder reiterated his stance that US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the country out of the accord was “morally unacceptable”, adding that criticism of Trump’s move was “fair and justified”.
The United States has carried the greatest historical responsibility for the increase in CO2 emissions, making it the top contributor to today’s climate change threats, Áder said. Although China has overtaken it to become the biggest carbon emitting country, the US still has the highest per capita emissions, the president added.
Áder called Trump’s decision irresponsible towards future generations.
He said China had also changed over the past few years because it had figured out that industry-driven pollution was putting a dent in its economy. This has led the country to close coal mines and power stations and build solar parks and wind farms. It started building nuclear power plants and has launched tree-planting projects, Ader added.
The president said that the signatories had not only reaffirmed their commitment to the deal’s targets but had also declared their intention to speed up the drafting of the rules for its implementation. The deadline for this is November 2018, he said.
Further, a total of 30 US states have said that they would not accept Trump’s decision, Áder noted. He said this way the US could still end up complying with the Paris deal after having withdrawn from it.
He said Hungary is among 21 countries which since 1990 have managed to grow their economies while improving their energy efficiency and reducing their carbon emissions.
Photo: MTI/EPA/Pool/Olivier Douliery