President Trump will announce his decision on the Paris Accord Thursday

Cheryl Sanders
June 1, 2017

President Trump will pull the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement, according to several reports Wednesday.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

A White House official said earlier in the day that Trump was planning to pull out of the Paris deal, although a final decision hadn't been made.

Mr Trump pledged during his presidential campaign to withdraw the United States from the pact immediately after taking office, but had wavered on the issue since winning the election.

A White House official said Wednesday that there could be "caveats in the language" announcing a withdrawal, leaving open the possibility that his decision isn't final. "To take action in the city of Atlanta, the center of the ninth-largest metro in the country...it takes my decision and eight votes from [the city] council", he said in an interview a year ago.

The European Union and China, meanwhile, will reaffirm their commitment to the Paris climate change accord this week regardless of whether the USA pulls out of the pact, a senior EU official said.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists advocacy group, said "I don't think any other countries will follow the USA out of Paris, so if he does leave, Trump will be in splendid isolation with the leaders of Syria and Nicaragua". Withdrawing would leave the United States aligned only with Russian Federation among the world's industrialized economies.

The prospect of this situation has led a number of fossil fuel companies, including Exxon Mobil and coal miner group Cloud Peak, to reportedly urge the President to stay in the agreement.


Hundreds of high-profile businesses have spoken out in favor of the deal, including Apple, Google and Walmart.

In a press statement, leaders from the worldwide climate advocacy group, 350.org, called upon Canada to step up its climate game as the USA falters, and on Americans to continue fighting for domestic climate action.

This isn't the first time Musk has publicly opposed the Trump administration. Add to that the 40 million people in the state of California-where governor Jerry Brown has promised (paywall) to "take significant action" if the U.S. abandons the Paris agreement-and Trump's potential action at the federal level is significantly undermined.

That fight has played out within Trump's administration.

But there's at least some hope: millions of Americans will stay committed to the agreement no matter what Trump does. How?

News agency Axios reported that the details of the pullout are being worked out by a team that includes EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

The climate deal brings together 195 countries on climate change. Senior adviser Jared Kushner generally thinks the deal is bad but still would like to see if emissions targets can be changed. "Congress deserves a detailed explanation from the administration", she tweeted.

While Mr Trump now favours an exit, he has been known to change his thinking on major decisions and tends to seek counsel from a range of inside and outside advisers, many with differing agendas, until the last minute.


The emissions goals are voluntary with no real consequences for countries that fail to meet them. "So rather than investing in the future of energy, the U.S.is trying to invest in the past". In it the US had agreed to reduce its emissions by 26 percent by 2025 when compared to levels in 2005 - about 1.6 billion tons.

"Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords would put the United States on the sidelines of one of the defining issues of this century". The organization's main Twitter page quoted Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as saying, "Climate change is undeniable".

More recently, Defense Secretary James Mattis told CBS News' John Dickerson that he was part of some of the discussions in Brusels when talks of climate change came up. Those moves make it unlikely the USA will meet its Paris commitment. We have irrefutable data that temperatures are rising, Arctic ice is melting, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather is becoming more severe.

United States environmental group The Sierra Club's executive director Michael Brune called the expected move a "historic mistake which our grandchildren will look back on with stunned dismay at how a world leader could be so divorced from reality and morality". This is a president who has claimed global warming is a Chinese-manufactured hoax, after all.

Then there's the issue of greenhouse gas emissions themselves, which the climate agreement was created to address.

In February, Uber chief Travis Kalanick quit the economic panel, saying his presence had been viewed as an endorsement of the Trump administration.

Still, Cohn said that the carbon levels agreed to by the prior administration "would be highly crippling to the USA economic growth", and if the president had to choose between limiting carbon and economic growth, "growing our economy is going to win".


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