European Businesses Say Badmouthing Trump Won’t Bring US Back Into Paris Deal

Chris White | Energy Reporter

Europe’s business community warned officials at a climate conference in Germany that railing against President Donald Trump will not bring the U.S. back into the Paris climate agreement.

“If you’re trying to push them away,” then the possibility of folding the U.S. back into the deal becomes unlikely, said Business Europe adviser Leon de Graaf, referring to an effort from European officials to prevent Trump from attending climate conferences.

The EU should not treat Trump any differently than any other world leader, de Graaf said in remarks Thursday at a climate conference in Bonn, Germany. Other business leaders made similar comments, imploring attendees to consider some of the reasons why the U.S. moved away from the non-binding accord.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce official Stephen Eule, for instance, explained to the EU’s foreign audience that Trump moved away from the deal because he believes it shackles America’s manufacturing sector. The president is pursuing policies that support coal and nuclear energy, he said at one of the side discussions.

An adviser to Trump took part in a pro-coal presentation during the so-called COP23 conference. Participants were surprised at the boldness of the move. They believe it’s “beyond absurd” to champion fossil fuels at an event designed to brainstorm solutions to climate change.

European leaders, meanwhile, are tinkering with the possibility of freezing Trump and the U.S. out of future climate conferences.

French President Emmanuel Macron, for instance, plans to push his “Make Our Planet Great Again” agenda during a conference in December. He invited more than 100 world leaders to his event, but not Trump. Instead, he invited lower level U.S. diplomats.

“The rest of the world needs to get on and negotiate … and treat the U.S. as more of an observer in the process and the U.S. should act that way,” Greenpeace International Director Jennifer Morgan, who has been a participant at such conferences for years, told reporters.

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