Trump plans to pull U.S. from Paris climate deal

Pablo Tucker
May 31, 2017

"I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!"

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt has overtly advocated quitting a deal he judges "bad" for America.

The Paris Climate Accord (aka Paris Agreement or Paris Accord), enacted November 4, 2016 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, aims to keep Earth's temperature below 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels, invest $100 billion a year to deal with the effects of climate change, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The very basis for the deal, a so-called "bottoms-up" approach to greenhouse gas targets, was to avoid a legally binding treaty.

Guterres said the United Nations was engaged with the U.S. administration and Congress to try to convince them to abide by the agreement.

In a tweet, Trump said an announcement would come in the "next few days", ratcheting up the tension over what could be one of the biggest decisions of his presidency.

Trump is set to engage in discussions about the global economy and climate.

Trump has threatened in the past to leave the agreement, casting the deal - like other multilateral agreements - as unfair to the USA economy.

The deal is considered one of the landmark deals and part of Obama's legacy but many of Trump's supporters will support the president's expected decision to pull out of the contract.

The agreement, formally known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, focuses on ways to reduce greenhouse gases emissions.

The Paris agreement's commitment to curb carbon emissions and limit temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees "do not almost go far enough", he said. Under the pact, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2025.

Environmental groups criticized the planned withdrawal.

Axios reported that the Trump administration was working on deciding if it would go through the process of a formal withdrawal that could take years, or if it would simply pull out of the U.N.'s climate change treaty, which would hasten the process but be "more extreme".

However, the European Union stands ready to take on the mantle of leadership on this issue, according to the European Commission.

"Even such forward-thinking leaders as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un signed the agreement, acknowledging the serious challenges facing the world as climate change accelerates", Cook added.

Trump has said climate change is a "hoax" and campaigned on a promise to withdraw from the Paris agreement. That promise helped rally supporters sharing his skepticism of global efforts to police US carbon emissions.

Speaking in the wake of Trump's reported decision to leave, the Sierra Club's executive director Michael Brune said the USA would cede its place as a leader to China and India, "which will benefit handsomely from embracing the booming clean energy economy while Trump seeks to drive our country back into the 19th century".

Trump's refusal to reassure of USA commitment to the Paris climate change accord was also described by Merkel as "very dissatisfying".

After taking office, however, Mr. Trump faced pressure to stay in the deal from investors, worldwide powers and business leaders, including some in the coal industry. He also had to navigate a split among his advisers.

In a May 2016 speech in North Dakota outlining his energy policies, Trump accused Obama of entering the accord "unilaterally and without the permission of Congress".

US President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, officials said on Wednesday.

But Trump's daughter Ivanka pressed aides to look at the full picture when considering what withdrawal could mean.

Since taking office, the pair have moved to delay or roll back federal regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions while pledging to revive long-struggling USA coal mines.

Quitting the Paris accord may not resonate with members of Trump's Republican Party as much as his administration expects. Scientists and economists fear the U.S.'s decision could potentially trigger a domino effect of other countries abandoning the deal, leading to a global increase in carbon emissions and a unsafe rise of global temperatures at a much faster rate. Even oil and gas companies like Shell and ExxonMobil called for America to stay in the deal.

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