In a statement, the German auto industry trade association's (VDA) president has described US President Donald Trump's decision to take the US out of the international Paris Accord on climate change as a disappointment that 'does not come as a surprise'.

Matthias Wissmann also said that "efficient climate protection remains an important strategic task."

He also drew attention for the need for additional competitive measures and cost-effectiveness in Europe "in order to survive international competition."

"Maintaining our international competitiveness is the prerequisite for successful climate protection," Wissmann said.

He also noted that the decision raises the possibility of a difference between US federal policy and that at the level of US States. "We fear an asymmetric climate protection policy of two speeds in the US – one at federal level, another at the level of several federal states. This makes planning and legal security more difficult for the automotive industry," he said.

The Paris Agreement or Accord is an international agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. It sets out a framework for actions to mitigate climate change through increased global temperatures caused by human activity. Over 140 countries have signed the agreement. The US and China are the two biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.