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World condemns US plan to turn away from future

WORLD leaders condemned US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate change accord yesterday.

The World Meteorological Organisation’s Deon Terblanche said he had not run any new scientific models since the announcement but the “worst-case scenario” would be a 0.3°C average global temperature rise by 2100.

Standing alongside Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Brussels, European Council president Donald Tusk said: “We are convinced that yesterday’s decision by the United States to leave the Paris agreement is a big mistake.”

Referring to “the latest unfortunate decisions of the new administration,” Mr Tusk said that the EU and China had “demonstrated solidarity with future generations and responsibility for the whole planet” by reaffirming their climate change commitment.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Mr Trump’s decision “extremely regrettable — and that’s putting it very mildly.”

“This decision can’t and won’t stop all those of us who feel obliged to protect the planet,” she said.

South Africa branded the US pullout “an abdication of global responsibility, saying Washington had a “moral obligation” to support poorer countries in the global effort against climate change.

And even US business leaders criticised the pullout, with Elon Musk, founder of electric car-maker Tesla, saying on Thursday he would resign from White House business panels over the move.

And transnational energy company General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt tweeted he was “disappointed,” adding: “Industry must now lead and not depend on government.”

Oil giant Chevron spokeswoman Melissa Ritchie said the firm “supports continuing with the Paris agreement.”

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