Officials at the European Union (EU) have declared that, if the US does indeed withdraw from the Paris agreement in 2020, then there will be no future trade deals between the two blocs.
As reported by Climate Home News, France’s Foreign Minister, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, told the French Parliament that “one of our main demands is that any country who signs a trade agreement with [the] EU should implement the Paris agreement on the ground.
“No Paris agreement, no trade agreement,” he added. “The US knows what to expect.”
The use of the word "implementation" here suggests that the trading partners need to not have just signed, but ratified the Paris agreement. That means that it wouldn't just be the US that's excluded, but 23 other countries, including Russia. The US, however, is clearly the target of this proposal.
Responding to a request to comment about this on Twitter, Anna Cecilia Malmström, the European Commissioner for Trade, supported this call.
It’s likely that the comments have come in response to US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ recent suggestions that the US is happy to talk with the EU with regards to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a proposed free trade agreement.
“Business leaders and diplomatic experts warned the Trump administration that undermining the Paris agreement would result in a loss of US credibility and influence,” Sierra Club Global Climate Policy Director John Coequyt said in an emailed statement.
“We now see that they were correct.”
This is hard to deny. The overall aim of the Paris accords is to save the planet from climate change nightmares, of course – but regardless of how successful that turns out to be, one undeniable side effect of the agreement is that America, or at least the federal government, is losing political influence on the world stage by being the only country on Earth to reject it.