Environmental campaigners staged protests Friday against President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, while other nations pledged to double down on their efforts to curb global warming in response to the USA move.
The leaders of France, Germany and Italy joined to "note with regret" the Trump decision and express doubts about any change in the accord.
In unusually outspoken remarks, delivering several digs at U.S. president Donald Trump, the German leader said his decision was "extremely regrettable, and that's putting in mildly". French President Emmanuel Macron trolled Trump's campaign motto, saying all nations share a responsibility to "make our planet great again". That, and recent reversals on free trade and foreign aid, are deepening perceptions of an America in retreat.
The U.S. decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord has bolstered China's stature and diplomatic power, and could help Beijing achieve longer-term ambitions to upgrade its economy and dominate lucrative new industries.
"The US committed to reducing gas emissions by 26-28% by 2025, while Russia is committed to cutting carbon emissions by 70% from the 1990 level, by 2030", the Russian president noted.
The White House indicated it would follow the lengthy exit process outlined in the deal.
Trump did little to quell those concerns Thursday.
"We're getting out, but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that's fair".
"I don't think we're going to change our ongoing efforts to reduce those emissions in the future", Tillerson said Friday, playing down the president's decision.
It also adds that the agreement "front loads costs on American people" and that Mr Trump hopes to seek "a better deal".
He called Trump's withdrawal from the pact a "mistake".
Criticism of his decision rolled in from blue-chip companies like Facebook Inc, Apple Inc, Ford Motor Co and Microsoft Corp, while the response from fossil fuel groups with the most to gain from a relaxation of USA carbon emissions standards was muted. While Trump ultimately sided with Arab leaders who'd implored him not to move the embassy, on the climate deal he seemed indifferent to similarly aggressive lobbying from America's closest partners in Europe.
This weekend, Tillerson visits Australia and New Zealand.
"For us, our position on the Paris agreement. we need a framework like that to address the risks of climate change", Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods told reporters on the sidelines of the company's annual general meeting on Wednesday. Tillerson is sure to hear an earful about the issue in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.
While Trump argued the landmark 2015 accord hurts U.S.jobs and business, others took a more global view.
Brown joined Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state and Gov. Andrew Cuomo of NY to form the U.S. Climate Alliance to uphold the Paris climate agreement, a pact involving almost 200 nations aimed at slowing the warming of the planet. He didn't argue that it would affect USA efforts to reduce American emissions.
Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert tweeted that the Chancellor was "disappointed" by Trump's decision, adding: "Now more than ever we will work for global climate policies that save our planet". "The Paris Agreement is a hard-won outcome condensing the broadest consensus of the worldwide community and setting up the direction and goals for global cooperative efforts to cope with climate change".
Still, Tillerson's support has been quieter than that of his predecessor: John Kerry.
Even potential USA partners reached out across the Pacific.
In his first public comments on President Donald Trump's move, Tillerson called it a policy decision by the president.
"We don't want other countries laughing at us anymore and they won't", Trump declared.
But Ronald Neumann, a former USA ambassador who heads the American Academy of Diplomacy, noted Tillerson, like all secretaries of state, would occasionally lose policy battles.
It is a dramatic development that has helped halt the rise of global Carbon dioxide emissions for the first time since a global climate change treaty was first signed nearly three decades ago, the environmental advocacy group said.