EU says deepening ties with climate pact members after U.S. withdraws

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The European Union said on Monday it was deepening its alliances with other signatories of the Paris climate accord to ensure its implementation, rejecting U.S. President Donald Trump’s demands to renegotiate the pact.

Trump’s announcement on June 1 that he wished to renegotiate the terms of the landmark 195-nation deal - the first to oblige all nations to limit greenhouse gas emissions - was met with dismay the other countries who signed the agreement.

The EU pledged to team up with China, the world’s largest polluter, to achieve the goal of limiting global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

The Paris accord is “fit for purpose and cannot be renegotiated,” the foreign ministers of the bloc’s 28 nations said in a joint statement. They were meeting in Luxembourg.

“The Council (of ministers) deeply regrets the unilateral decision by the United States administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement,” they said.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting that the bloc had on Monday adopted “very strong language” to underline the need to adhere to the commitments stipulated in the climate agreement.

“We are building strong global alliances to make sure that the Paris agreement, will be upheld, even after Trump’s decision to step back,” Mogherini said.

Trump has said participating in the pact would undermine the U.S. economy, wipe out jobs, weaken national sovereignty and put his country at a permanent disadvantage.

But EU ministers stressed the pact “allows each party to forge its own path”.

The forging of stronger global alliances on the back of Trump’s decision to withdraw from the pact has led to speculation that the United States’ international clout and status will suffer significantly in the years to come.

Reporting by Robin Emmott in luxembourg; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky