ENVIRONMENT

French envoy: US climate exist may signal multipolar world

U.S. President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate accord may be perceived as "the birth certificate of the multipolar world," France's U.N. ambassador said Tuesday.

Francois Delattre told reporters that the impact of Trump's decision goes beyond climate change policy to the U.S. role in the world.

From a geopolitical perspective, he said, "my personal take is that the American decision can be interpreted as a factor in the erosion of the moral and political leadership of the United States."

But Delattre stressed that "we need more than ever an America that stays committed to world affairs."

He said that's because a lasting U.S. withdrawal "could give rise to the return of old spheres of influence whose dire consequences we are already familiar with." He did not elaborate.

On the climate issue, Delattre said the United States is perceived as being "on the wrong side of history." For some, he said, instead of being seen as "the most reliable guarantor of the world order," the U.S. is considered "a threat to our planet's equilibrium."