Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Union Commission, took aim Wednesday at President Donald Trump’s reported plan to withdraw from the landmark Paris climate change agreement.
“That’s not how it works,” Juncker said in response to the news. “The Americans can’t just leave the climate protection agreement. Mr. Trump believes that because he doesn’t get close enough to the dossiers to fully understand them.”
Juncker highlighted one stipulation of the agreement which says a country needs to complete a four-year withdrawal process before pulling out of the agreement.
“It would take three to four years after the agreement came into force in November 2016 to leave the agreement,” Juncker said. “So this notion, ‘I am Trump, I am American, America First and I’m going to get out of it’ – that won’t happen. We tried to explain that to Mr. Trump in Taormina in clear German sentences. It seems our attempt failed, but the law is the law and it must be obeyed.”
He continued: “Not everything which is law and not everything in international agreements is fake news, and we have to comply with it.”
Whether or not Trump would remain in the climate agreement pervaded throughout the campaign and after he took office. In the past, Trump has repeatedly questioned the international scientific consensus on climate change, once calling it a “hoax” invented by the Chinese.
His reported decision comes on the heels of his first foreign trip, which included the G7 summit, during which the leaders of the world’s seven most robust economies meet to discuss pressing issues. At the summit, other G7 members reportedly pressured Trump to remain in the agreement. He said Wednesday that he will make an official decision on the matter over the next few days.