Sunday, 22 October, 2017

White House says Trump expected to pull US from Paris deal

Marta Holmes | 06 June, 2017, 06:32

Trump will announce his decision on the involvement of the the accord on Thursday.

Ahmed Sareer, the Maldives U.N. ambassador and chairman of the island group, told a press conference at U.N. headquarters that if President Donald Trump pulls out of the climate deal, alliance countries "will raise our voices as much as we can" in a fight for survival against rising sea levels.

Under former President Barack Obama, the US had agreed under the accord to reduce polluting emissions by about 1.6 billion tons by 2025.

But like trying to convince a soulless piece of cardboard to take action, "the vast campaign to persuade the remain ultimately did not sway the president".

"The U.S. pulling out of Paris will not stop the fight against global warming, since nearly all other countries are committed to it", said Stefan Rahmstorf, a German climate researcher.

Hundreds of high-profile businesses have spoken out in favor of the deal, including Apple, Google and Walmart. However, others on Trump's team are pushing him to withdraw, something he promised to do as a candidate.

Trump vs climate change: What would a USA exit from the Paris Agreement mean?

That fight has played out within Trump's administration. It requires the power sector to significantly reduce emissions.

Barbara Hendricks said other countries will fill the leadership void left by the United States but none will be expected to make up the shortfall in emissions reductions caused by Washington's exit. Within his administration, those wanting him to pull out reportedly included Trump's chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.

President Donald Trump walks to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 1, 2017, after speaking in the Rose Garden about the U.S. role in the Paris climate change accord.

Last week in Germany, McKenna met with Chinese special envoy for climate change Xie Zhenhua and European Union environment commissioner Karmenu Vella, where they discussed jointly hosting a meeting of environment ministers this fall to chart a path for implementing Paris among the world's major economies.

A United States withdrawal would remove the world's second-largest emitter and almost 18 per cent of the globe's present-day emissions from the agreement, presenting a severe challenge to its structure and raising questions about whether it would weaken the commitments of other nations.

Trump on Wednesday declared abandoning the Paris climate agreement would be a victory for the American economy. Several of his top aides have opposed the action, too, as has his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump.

The U.N.'s main Twitter page quotes Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as saying: "Climate change is undeniable".

The White House did not confirm those reports and it was unclear whether Trump would fully scrap USA participation or merely water down U.S. emissions objectives. That option would provide a fast track and could be done in a year, but would deny the US a future seat at the table, locking the country out of future climate talks.

Though his stance on climate change is widely known, withdrawing from the deal is expected to have significant repercussions.

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more risky levels of warming sooner as a result of the president's decision because America's pollution contributes so much to rising temperatures.

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

Once in power, Trump and Pruitt have moved to delay or roll back federal regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions while pledging to revive the long-struggling US coal mines. "But the the world's second-largest carbon polluter, and its decision to walk away threatens to weaken the resolve of major emitters such as China and India to keep their own pledges, even though both nations have pledged to remain in the agreement". Supporters of the deal say it's not an either-or choice.


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