Trudeau calls Trump to say climate decision a 'disappointment'

US President Donald Trump (right) talks to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the G7 summit.
US President Donald Trump (right) talks to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the G7 summit.PHOTO: REUTERS

OTTAWA (AFP) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Donald Trump on Thursday to express "his disappointment" with the US president's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, while Ottawa announced it would host climate talks with the EU and China.

According to a readout of their conversation, Trudeau conveyed his intention to continue working with international partners to address climate change.

"While the US decision is disheartening, we remain inspired by the growing momentum around the world to combat climate change and transition to clean growth economies," Trudeau said in a statement.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, meanwhile, announced that Canada would host climate talks in September with the European Union and China.

Trump earlier declared the US was withdrawing from the Paris agreement at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden, saying he would look to renegotiate a new deal on climate change that would better suit US interests.

Trudeau vowed to continue working with US states that support climate action "to drive progress on one of the greatest challenges we face as a world." At the same time, the Canadian leader said he would continue to reach out to the US federal government to identify carbon emissions reductions on which they might still be able to collaborate.

The White House said that Trump "explained" his decision to withdraw in separate calls with Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Trump "reassured the leaders that America remains committed to the Transatlantic alliance and to robust efforts to protect the environment," the statement added.

"He reiterated that the United States under the Trump administration, will be the cleanest and most environmentally friendly country on Earth.