China, EU to announce joint climate plans, support for Paris deal

Michele Moreno
June 5, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's supporters on Friday cast his decision to abandon the world's climate change pact as a "refreshing" stance for the USA that would save jobs and unburden industry.

US President Donald Trump has chose to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Axios news outlet reported on Wednesday (31 May), citing two unidentified sources with direct knowledge of the decision.

News of Trump's expected decision drew swift reaction from the United Nations.

He was speaking after US President Donald Trump refused to join other leaders of the G7 group of rich nations in reaffirming support for the accord.

A U.S. decision to withdraw from the accord could further alienate American allies in Europe already wary of Trump and call into question USA leadership and trustworthiness on one of the world's leading issues.

President Donald Trump has only a few main options for dealing with the non-binding climate deal, one of former President Barack Obama's proudest diplomatic achievements.

The decision will put the United States in league with Syria and Nicaragua as the world's only non-participants in the Paris Climate Agreement.

In order to do that, countries pledge to reduce their carbon emissions.

Abandoning the pact would isolate the USA from a raft of worldwide allies who spent years negotiating the 2015 agreement to fight global warming and pollution by reducing carbon emissions.

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

The Paris decision has deeply divided the Administration, with internationalists, such as Tillerson, arguing that it would be beneficial to the United States to remain part of negotiations and worldwide meetings surrounding the agreement, as a matter of leverage and influence. Friends of the Earth said it would make America the world's "foremost climate villain". Seated in the front row were aides who had advocated for the withdrawal, including EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and chief strategist Steve Bannon. The choice is between a formal withdrawal that could take three years or leaving the United Nations treaty that the accord is based on, which would be quicker but more extreme, according to Axios.

Worldwide leaders began reacting to the reports of Trump's plans.

European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said of a US pullout: "It would be disappointing but I really do not think this would change the course of mankind". Even fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell say the United States should abide by the deal.

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila (JOO'-hah SEE'-pah-lah) says climate change won't be reversed "by closing your eyes".

By abandoning the world's chief effort to slow the tide of planetary warming, Trump was fulfilling a top campaign pledge. That promise helped rally supporters sharing his skepticism of global efforts to police United States carbon emissions.

Trump claimed before taking office that climate change was a "hoax" created by the Chinese to hurt the US economy, an assertion that stands in defiance of broad scientific consensus. Climate change is unstoppable.

Juncker said: "If the USA president pulls out of the Paris agreement, and he will in the next days or hours, then it is Europe's duty to say that that is not how it works".

As the world's second-biggest polluter after China, a move by the U.S.to scrap the accord involving nearly 200 nations would pour hundreds of billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and speed up the warming trend already taking place.

The official told reporters that the European Union and China will also "spell out" how they plan to meet their commitments to the landmark worldwide accord to fight global warming at talks in Brussels on Friday. A source told Reuters that India had also indicated it would stick by the deal.

Trump faced considerable pressure to hold to the deal during visits with European leaders and Pope Francis on his recent trip overseas. He also had to navigate a split among his advisers on the issue.

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

That fight has played out within Trump's administration.

"If any government doubts the global will and need for this accord, that is reason for all others to unite even stronger and stay the course", he told the audience at New York University.

According to Politico.com, that outcome will be a victory for supporters of the government's hardliners, such as White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon, who argued that the deal would affect the USA economy and Trump's energy agenda.

Other reports by Insurance News

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