The president of the United Nations has announced that he is to award a medal to President Donald Trump after the US withdrew from the Paris climate change agreement.
But Trump has been left to fend for himself with a new global order in which many of his domestic policies will be ignored or nullified.
The US will not attend the summit of world leaders in Bonn, Germany, but its leader, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has vowed to honour the president with a “gold star” as the world tries to come to terms with the consequences of climate change.
Trump had hoped to get his “welcome back” speech to the United Nation’s General Assembly before the Paris talks, but instead received a stern rebuke from the head of the UN’s climate committee, the African Union, who told the president that “a strong and robust climate policy cannot be dictated by the whims of one man”.
“Climate change is a serious and pressing challenge,” the African commissioner said.
“The absence of any tangible action from the United States has undermined the global leadership of the Paris agreement and undermined our efforts to achieve its full and sustainable goals.”
The African Union urges the US to act, not just sit by and watch.
“The African commissioner’s warning was echoed by the European Union, which said the US withdrawal from the climate accord “has undermined the world’s efforts to limit climate change”.
But the US’s withdrawal from Paris was widely interpreted as an endorsement of Trump’s own policies.
Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement is widely seen as a blow to international efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
It is likely to further complicate the Trump administration’s relationship with other major world powers, such as Russia, China and India, whose combined emissions are currently the biggest in the world.
The climate crisis is seen by many of the world leaders as the most pressing challenge facing the world, but it has also been a major source of political tension between Washington and Brussels.
The president has been criticised for refusing to take action on climate change, which he claims is a Chinese hoax designed to undermine American manufacturing.