Trump to announce decision on Paris climate deal in 'next few days' – expected to withdraw

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On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that he would announce his decision on the US’s participation in the Paris climate accord “over the next few days.”

After  G7 talks last week, many fear that Trump will withdraw the United States from the pact. He campaigned on the notion that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by fiendish foreign rivals to hamper US trade. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, had helped negotiate the accord in Paris in 2015. 

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An anonymous White House official told the Associated Press that Trump was expected to withdraw from the agreement, but said there may be “caveats in the language” that Trump uses, leaving open the possibility that a decision wouldn’t be final.

Several US news outlets incuding Politico and Axios cited unnamed White House officials for reports that Trump was planning to pull out of the deal.

Axios reported that the White House would either withdraw through a formal process of leaving the agreement or by canceling the UN climate treaty on which the Paris deal is based.

‘Big setback’

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that climate change was “undeniable” in a post on the official UN Twitter page, which also included a video link to Guterres’ Tuesday speech in which he called on the world to intensify action to combat climate change.

“Climate change is undeniable. Climate change is unstoppable. Climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable,” he was quoted as saying.

France’s ambassador to the US said on Wednesday that the Paris climate change deal does not infringe on US sovereignty.

“The Paris accord is a political agreement. It doesn’t infringe on US sovereignty. National commitments are voluntary and may be amended,” Ambassador Gerard Araud said in a tweet, adding that major American corporations had expressed their support for the deal.

Finland’s Prime Minister told his country’s parliament Wednesday that a US withdrawal would be a big setback.

“If this is true, it is a big setback. Then, we must find partners to continue, because this work must not stop,” Juha Sipila said, adding that climate change was a priority for Finland in the Arctic Council as well as the EU.

Climate change deniers in charge

Upon assuming the presidency, Trump set about installing climate change deniers to the US’s highest environmental posts. He has been supported in his efforts by large corporations that deal and coal and petroleum and several prominent Republicans, including the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell.

The deal would limit warming through a concentrated effort to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases. The United States is the world’s second largest emitter, after China, which has four times the population. 

Canada, China, the EU member states and other countries whose efforts to limit global warming are crucial have pledged to remain true to their commitments. At the moment, the only nations that have declined to endorse the pact agreed to by 195 countries are Nicaragua and Syria.

During last week’s summits in Europe, international leaders and even Pope Francis urged Trump not to renege on the deal.

aw,mkg/rt (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)

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