Decision by US President disappoints the international community – debate must become more objective
Statement delivered by Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), concerning the decision by US President Trump on the Paris Climate Accord:
The decision by US President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord is a disappointment for the international community. It does not come as a surprise. The American president had already expressed his criticism clearly during the election campaign. Now the important thing is to make the debate more objective and keep a cool head. This is not about issues of faith, but about a balance between ecology and economy. Smart policies are characterized by striking a balance between objectives of equal priority such as economic growth, prosperity and climate protection. Efficient climate protection remains an important strategic task.
The regrettable announcement by the US makes it necessary to safeguard the cost efficiency and profitability of climate policy in Europe, too, in order to be able to stand up to international competition. We must maintain our international competitiveness if we are to have successful climate protection. Unfortunately this link is underestimated all too often.
The decision by the US president also concerns us because we are worried about an asymmetrical two-speed climate protection policy in the US – one at the federal level, and another at the level of several individual states. This makes it more difficult to have reliable conditions for planning and legal certainty in the automotive industry.