France's Francois Hollande Says U.S. Participation in Paris Climate Deal Can't Be 'Betrayed'


Francois Hollande

The president of France took direct aim today at Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw the U.S. from a global climate pact, calling on him to abandon plans to nullify a deal only made possible because of U.S. leadership under President Barack Obama.

“A promise of hope cannot be betrayed. It must be fulfilled,” French President Francois Hollande said.

“The U.S. is the largest economic power in the world and the [second] largest emitter [and] must respect the commitments they have undertaken,” Hollande told ministers and other officials from nearly 200 nations arriving for the high-level portion of the UN climate summit in Marrakech, Morocco.

“It is not only their duty, it is in their interest as well, and the interest of American people as well,” Hollande said, “because no country can be sheltered by climate change” and its impacts.

Hollande, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and other leaders arrived today to kick off the final days of the Nov. 7-18 Morocco summit that is set to take the first steps toward implementing the 2015 Paris climate deal.

But the talks were dealt a serious blow with Republican Donald Trump’s election in the U.S. presidential race Nov. 8, given his campaign pledge to pull the U.S. out of the Paris deal, which had barely entered into force when negotiators arrived in Marrakech Nov. 7.

Follow Dean Scott for more this week from the UN summit in Marrakech.