A new leader of climate change solutions has emerged as President Donald Trump continues to hammer the United States' reputation to dust. Amidst the insurmountable questions asked around the world after Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, Germany has become the voice in many of our heads.
"We in Germany, in Europe and the world will band together to take more decisive action than ever to confront and successfully surmount major challenges to humanity such as climate change," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters.
In another statement to the German parliament she said, "'The decision of the US President to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is very regrettable, and I'm expressing myself in a very reserved way when I say that."
German newspaper the Berliner Kurier had no problem expressing itself in a very non-reserved way with its recent headline reading, "Earth to Trump — F*** You!"
Called the "leader of the free world" by some now that the U.S. has abdicated its throne, Germany will be the nation to look to in moving forward. Merkel's strength and diplomacy will serve as guidance in the increasingly challenging global political landscape, and her quiet refusal to tolerate Trump's bullying could potentially temper his worst impulses.
Other world leaders have spoken out as well, including France's President Emanuel Macron and Italy's Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. In a televised speech, Macron called Trump's withdrawal a "mistake" and said "climate change is one of the major issues of our time."
While condemning Trump's decision, Macron and Gentiloni also reaffirmed that the U.S. could not renegotiate the climate agreement. This went against what Trump spun as a possibility in his Thursday announcement.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called Trump's move "disappointing but not at all surprising," and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to express his feelings over his neighbor's choice.
We are deeply disappointed that the United States federal government has decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 1, 2017
As we grapple with the reverberations of Trump's decision, it is heartening to know that others remain firm on working together to alleviate climate change, assuming leadership while the U.S. forfeits theirs.