Trump expected to leave climate deal _ but with 'caveats'

Andrew Cummings
June 1, 2017

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the two discussed "the president's upcoming decision of the Paris climate accords".

According to CNN, the news will be announced this week and means the United States will be one of only three countries (Syria and Nicaragua) not in on the carbon reduction plan made during President Obama's administration.

"The actions of the United States are bound to have a ripple effect in other emerging economies that are just getting serious about climate change, such as India, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia", said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and worldwide affairs at Princeton, and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that produces scientific reports created to inform global policymakers.

Celebs like Josh Gad, Mark Ruffalo, Chelsea Handler, Cher, and more took to Twitter to slam Trump's decision. "Republicans in congress need to end this childish mayhem".

A day earlier, Trump on return from his maiden overseas trip met with Pruitt.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Wednesday in Alaska that he had "yet to read what the actual Paris Agreement is", and would have to read it before weighing in.

Earlier this month, the governors of MA and Vermont called on the Trump administration to maintain the nation's commitment to the climate accord, writing that "the impacts of climate change have already been felt in our states".

The U.S. signed the accord in 2015, committing to reducing carbon emissions by 26% to 28% within a decade.

After taking office, however, Trump faced pressure to stay in the deal from investors, global powers and business leaders, including some in the coal industry. A dozen large groups including oil major BP, agrochemical giant DuPont, Google, Intel and Microsoft, have urged Trump to remain part of the deal. Trump faced intense pressure on both sides, including from his senior advisers and family. "Where are your emissions?" said Todd D. Stern, the lead climate negotiator during the Obama administration.

A White House official says Trump's expected to withdraw the United States from the landmark agreement.

For his part, Trump tweeted only that he would be announcing his decision regarding the treaty "over the next few days". The U.S. also has yet to ratify the Kigali Amendment-an global plan to reduce hydrofluorocarbons, powerful greenhouse gases used in systems like air-conditioning and refrigeration.

"If we do withdraw, that will put us as an outlier", he said.

Although the administration has been debating for months its position on the Paris agreement, the sentiment for leaving the accord ultimately prevailed over the views of Mr Tillerson and Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and close adviser, who had urged the president to keep a seat at the climate negotiating table. It is the first step to try to do something about climate change.

Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn told reporters on Saturday in Sicily that the president had told his fellow G7 leaders that "the environment is very, very important to me, Donald Trump" - but voiced his concern that the USA was falling behind India and China in manufacturing.

Steve Bannon, Trump's chief strategist and the former head of Breitbart, had pressed Trump to stick with his campaign promise and leave the deal. The EPA's rule would have dropped Carbon dioxide emissions by an additional 9.2 million metric tons of Carbon dioxide in 2025-a little under 1 percent of the U.S.'s efforts to reduce emissions for the Paris target.

"The Paris agreement establishes the enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis", Obama said, speaking from the White House.

She says no one government can stop the momentum toward tackling climate change, adding that Canada will continue "marching on".

Other reports by iNewsToday