The announcement on 1 June 2017 by US President Donald Trump that the United States would be withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change has been met with dismay by government and industry leaders.

In a joint statement, France, Germany and Italy have rejected the American call to reopen climate talks and ten US states have formed an alliance to continue their support for the United Nations Framework Convention to tackle greenhouse gas emissions from 2020.

Speaking to Mr Trump, UK Prime Minister Theresa May expressed her disappointment with the decision and stressed that the UK remained committed to the Paris Agreement, as she had set out recently at the 43rd G7 summit of advanced economy leaders in Sicily.

Mrs May said that the Paris Agreement provides the right global framework for protecting the prosperity and security of future generations, while keeping energy affordable and secure for our citizens and businesses.

In the course of their conversation, Mr Trump did say, however, that the door remains open to future US involvement in the Agreement, and both agreed on the importance of continued cooperation on wider energy issues.

In the US, green economy organisation, Green America, vehemently denounced the decision. "This move is exactly the wrong direction for our nation and world," said Fran Teplitz, Green America's executive co-director. "There is tremendous urgency – for the sake of our communities, human health, the environment, and the economy – to expedite the transition to a clean energy economy that works for everyone. Trump's decision to support the fossil fuel industry over the interest of people and the planet is an historic failure."

Frank Yu, Principal Consultant - APAC Power & Renewables, at global energy intelligence company Wood Mackenzie commented: “The US withdrawal of the Paris accord will offer an unprecedented opportunity for China, the biggest carbon emitter and the biggest renewable energy supplier, to ascend in leading global climate affairs.

"We are going to see closer cooperation between China and the European Union in accelerating the energy transition into a low-carbon economy," Yu continued. "China would accelerate kicking off its national carbon trading market by learning from the Emission Trading System, and lend more support to help climatically vulnerable countries.

"Many US companies who are climatically accountable would likely relocate their renewable technology R&D centres to Asia. By leveraging the strong manufacturing value chain in China and other Asian countries, cost of renewables could fall even faster and penetrate more rapidly to displace dirty fossil fuel such as coal in key Asian markets.

"With less renewable investment opportunities in America, Asia could get more attention from green capital funds. This will help for countries such as India, Indonesia, Vietnam which needs foreign capital to boost their renewable goals," concluded Yu.

In the UK, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change, Roseanna Cunningham commented: “The need for international co-operation is greater than ever and will be vital if we are to prevent the most serious effects of climate change by limiting average global temperature rises to well below two degrees Celsius.

“This news is bitterly disappointing and deeply frustrating but we must not forget nations, states and cities around the world remain resolutely committed to the fight against climate change. It is also important to remember the important role played by the European Union in global climate negotiations."

Michelle Hubert, Head of Energy and Infrastructure at UK business organisation, the CBI, said: "The Paris Agreement is a climate deal agreed by the world's leaders that puts us on a sustainable low-carbon path and which can provide the framework for business to invest with confidence. It’s disappointing that President Trump has signalled his intention to withdraw the United States from the Agreement, but now is the time for governments to affirm their commitment to it by turning global ambition into national reality. By investing and innovating, British businesses will be at the heart of delivering a low-carbon economy, and will want to see domestic policies that demonstrate commitment to this goal.

“As other nations start to play a greater role and increase their ambition," she continued, " the UK needs a level playing field for carbon costs, so that our energy intensive industries can compete effectively in a global, low-carbon marketplace.”

Low-carbon business coalition group We Mean Business said the announcement was regrettable. “What works for climate works for business,” it said, adding: “The Paris Agreement was negotiated to bind governments together, ensuring a global level playing field for all businesses. It provides business with the confidence and certainty it needs to make long-term investments in innovation and infrastructure."