EU seeks climate allies among U.S. cities, states, EU's Sefcovic says

FILE PHOTO: Hundreds of environmentalists arrange their bodies to form a message of hope and peace in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, December 6, 2015, as the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) continues at Le Bourget near the French capital. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is looking for allies among cities and states to save the Paris Agreement after the federal government of the United States withdrew from the accord last week, EU Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said on Monday.

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would pull his country out of the agreement to globally reduce greenhouse gas emissions, saying it would undermine the economy, wipe out jobs, weaken national sovereignty and put his country at a permanent disadvantage.

Sefcovic was traveling to Beijing on Monday for a meeting of ministers to discuss innovation in clean energy and will meet with, among others, California Governor Jerry Brown, a vocal critic of the Trump administration’s decision to leave.

“I’m quite optimistic when I see the reaction from the states, from the cities, from the mayors, from all important U.S. companies, that they will still push for an active fight against climate change,” Sefcovic told Reuters by phone. “The message to Jerry Brown will be to push ahead.”

Sefcovic said that Brussels would host a meeting of mayors from around the world by the end of the year, chaired by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to discuss climate change.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, editing by Larry King