Merkel: 'We have to protect Mother Earth' after Trump quits Paris Accord

She added: "But from that grows a special responsibility for both countries - for Germany and China - in all global issues - for example for climate protection, for the prevention of violent conflicts or in worldwide trade policy".

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says fighting climate change is a "global consensus" and an "international responsibility".

Li, who concluded an official visit to Germany this Thursday and arrived in Brussels, Belgium, as part of his three-day tour of the area, announced the agreement during a joint press conference with Merkel. She also said it was important for non-government organizations to work in China to strengthen civil rights.

The EU and China failed today to formally endorse a joint statement on the Paris climate deal due to a lingering but separate trade row, a European source said. It would send a clear message if Trump does decide to withdraw from the 195-nation deal - a decision expected to be announced early on Friday morning.

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Russian Federation joined the chorus speaking out in favour of the climate accord.

Trump is widely believed to be leaning towards pulling the U.S. out of the Paris agreement - seen as one of the most important accomplishments of his predecessor Barack Obama, who secured Beijing's endorsement after years of negotiations.

Other European leaders issued more explicit appeals to the USA government not to abandon worldwide measures against climate change.

Without mentioning the USA specifically, Mr Li said that "China in recent years has stayed true to its commitment", and pointed out that it was one of the first countries to ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement. "We continue to lobby the United States at all levels to continue to take climate change extremely seriously". "In fact, there is no better time for China to further its global climate leadership", he said.

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The goal is to help the world shift to an economy based on low greenhouse gas emissions, according to the draft.

Li Shuo and other environmental experts said China's commitment to the Paris deal was driven primarily by domestic concerns over the huge environmental and social cost of dirty coal and air pollution.

China, long recognised as the world's dominant trading power, now hopes that by showing leadership on the fight against climate change it can translate its economic might into yet greater political influence. That includes a 2015 commitment of a US$3.1 billion climate fund.

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