In a Thursday speech renewing her commitment to work with the international community on solving the "existential threat" of climate change, German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized United States President Donald Trump for his administration's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, thereby reneging on the nation's commitment to join the rest of the world in lowering its carbon emissions.
"We cannot expect easy discussions on climate change at the G20 summit," Merkel said of the upcoming conference between 20 representatives from nations with the strongest economies on the world. "Our differences with the U.S. are clear. It would be dishonest if we painted over them."
"We cannot and will not wait until the last person in the world can be convinced by the scientific findings," Merkel said, addressing the Trump administration's skepticism of climate change.
Drawing a sharper, more general contrast between herself and Trump, Merkel said, "Whoever thinks that the problems of this world can be solved by protectionism and isolation lives under a huge misconception."
President Trump kicked off the month of June by making good on his campaign's promise to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, a historic agreement between nations to commit to reducing their carbon footprints in an effort to hamper global warming.
“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord," Trump said.
The decision immediately drew the ire of some in the international community. Later that day, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and French President Emmanuel Macron joined Merkel in issuing a statement reaffirming their respective pledges to lower carbon emissions as stipulated in the Paris climate accord.
"We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies," the statement said.