World media look to green future without US

European front pages
Image caption The decision was headline news worldwide

Frustration with the US is flowing freely in global media following President Donald Trump's announcement that his country would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement signed in 2015 by 195 countries.

European newspapers see an opportunity to move forward without the burden of appeasing a reluctant partner in Washington.

And in China, state-run media see their country ascending to a position of global leadership on the issue of climate change.

The announcement also triggered a global conversation on social media, with climate-related hashtags trending worldwide.

Image caption French newspaper Les Echos (bottom right) declares: "A shock that climate diplomacy will have to overcome"


Newspapers on the continent generally expressed disappointment at the decision, but saw in it an opportunity for Europe to forge a new path.

French centre-left daily Le Monde said that the decision had "widened the gap of mistrust" and noted that Mr Trump's mantra of "America First" seems to be leading the country to ever greater isolation.

Similarly, the French financial newspaper Les Echos says America is now part of a "trio of marginalised" nations, along with Syria and Nicaragua, who are not part of the deal. It adds that the move has not "signed the death warrant" of the agreement.

France's left-wing Libération newspaper took a more personal view of the Mr Trump, saying: "Since his accession to the White House, the US president has believed he is on a reality show. Except for the fact that this is no longer a game, it is about the future of the planet."

Global dismay at US climate deal pullout

Image copyright La Parisien
Image caption French newspaper La Parisien decries "The insane decision of the United States"

A commentary in Germany's centre-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung sees a certain "cold logic" in Mr Trump's move, in that he appears to prefer to deal with migration with "walls and weapons" rather than action to limit global warming.

"[The US] is reducing its financial contribution to global climate protection while boosting funding for the military and homeland security," writes its Washington correspondent, Winand von Petersdorff.

Trump 'shakes global community'

Germany's conservative Die Welt sees something positive in Trump's decision, saying it will actually be good for the Paris agreement to lose countries who do not believe in it.

"Those whose take part half-heartedly or even dishonestly are likely to undermine its agenda from the inside," says a commentary by the paper's science editor, Norbert Lossau.

A presenter on Russia's state-controlled Channel One TV said that Mr Trump has "shaken the global community once again".

And state-owned newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta was more sympathetic to Mr Trump than most, saying he had "stood up against Americans paying for the USA's 'climatic leadership', getting nothing in return, except for sweet-voiced chants of European politicians".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Members of the German Green Party protested outside the US Embassy in Berlin


In the USA itself, the Washington Post said Mr Trump was not considering the bigger picture with regard to climate change.

"Trump only looked at one side of the scale - claiming the agreement left the United States at a competitive disadvantage, harming US industries. But he often ignored the benefits that could come from tackling climate change, including potential green jobs."

The right-wing Breitbart website, on the other hand, said: "Rather than get bogged down in the 'science' of climate change... he cut to the chase and talked about the important stuff that hardly ever gets mentioned by all the other politicians, for some reason: the fact that the climate change industry is killing jobs."

Colombia's El Tiempo newspaper warned that the decision could cost the USA "very dearly", while in Brazil, the Folha de Sao Paulo said it had allowed "Germany and China to find each other".


In China, commentators did not hide their disdain for the decision.

State-run Global Times called it "selfish and irresponsible" and "the biggest waste" of US diplomatic resources in recent years.

Meanwhile, a correspondent on Chinese state-owned CCTV said China would not alter its course, adding: "The whole world struggled to reach a collective agreement, there was a lot of hesitation and going around in circles... But China has been responding to climate change, it has been pursuing developments in green energy; it has all along been an active player."

Is Trump abandoning US global leadership?

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post said that Mr Trump was well on his way to being the worst American president ever.

"Trump is an angry man. He hates lots of things and lots of people. But there's nothing he seems to hate more than Barack Obama. Trump seems to have a rule of thumb: reverse every decision taken by Obama," it said.

Image copyright BBC Monitoring
Image caption India's Hindustan newspaper (bottom left) asks: "What now as US pulls out?"

In India, which Mr Trump mentioned as a beneficiary of the Paris Agreement, the story was covered prominently.

Leading daily The Times of India says on its website: "The shrill speech, replete with claims of American victimhood at the hands of the rest of the world, casts a chill on [Indian] Prime Minister Narendra Modi's expected visit to the White House later this month."

Another report in the paper says Mr Trump has "gone rogue". The Indian Express, another respected English-language newspaper, says the decision has "stunned the world".

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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