The US election of the only world leader to deny climate change sent shock waves throughout the international community that only days earlier was celebrating the Paris climate agreement entering into force. With the reality of President Donald J. Trump starting to set in, world leaders concerned about climate change are weighing in. German Chancellor Angela Merkel asserted on Wednesday that she will attempt to work with Trump on climate change, saying that they spoke by phone after the November 8 election and agreed “that we’ll try to cooperate.”
Merkel told members of her Christian Democratic Union in the western German city of Muenster that she would bring up man-made global warming with Trump. “Of course I’ll say that I believe that climate change is certainly caused by humans — and we’ll want to see if the position there develops,” said Merkel. “One always has to try to find compromise through mutual respect and a clear position. That’s politics — always to find compromise.”
With the US ceding its leadership role on climate post-Obama, Germany is expected to play a stronger role on environmental action. At the recent global climate talks in Marrakech, Morocco, the world’s fourth-largest economy announced plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The country intends to go 100 percent renewable energy and completely phase out coal power — joining the UK, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Finland in committing to end coal production. Trump has promised to bring back coal in the US.
Pope Francis on Monday, speaking indirectly to Trump, warned world leaders not to abandon the Paris climate agreement. Trump has threatened to exit the Paris pact, although he recently told New York Times reporters that he would keep an “open mind” about pulling out of the climate accord. Addressing the Vatican’s academy of sciences, the pope said that “never before has there been such a clear need for science to be at the service of a new global ecological equilibrium.”