White House delays meeting on Paris climate deal
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 22, 2017,
May 22, 2017, 11:02
President Trump has threatened to pull the plug on USA involvement of the Paris Agreement ahead of the G7 Summit in Italy later this month, spurring major companies to speak out in support of continued climate change efforts.
Trump has recently delayed a decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which asks participating countries to do things like cut greenhouse gas emissions so the global average temperature doesn't rise too much.
"There is the risk of rendering the Paris Agreement nearly meaningless [with diminished commitments]", he said.
The agreement was savaged by a campaigning Trump, who threatened to "cancel" it if elected. Afterwards protesters will gather outside the EPA for a rally and then will block the building's entrances. Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to protect the Paris Agreement on curbing climate change during a phone call with French President-elect Emmanuel Macron today.
Visuals: Protestors will come with a massive alarm clock meant to symbolize the wake-up call they're sending the President and his advisors.
Senior State Department environmental official David Balton said "the question of the U.S. view of the Paris Agreement is still under consideration within the USA government".
With the rest of the world on tenterhooks ever since, Trump has said he will make his decision before the next G7 meeting on May 26-27 in Sicily.
However, fears loom large that if the world's number two carbon polluter, the U.S., pulls out, it will throw the pact into disarray.
"We strongly hope that the U.S. will stay committed to the Paris Accord", said Francois Delattre, the French ambassador to the United Nations.
"The Paris Climate Treaty is an all pain for no gain agreement that will produce no measurable climate benefits and exacerbate energy poverty around the globe", said Myron Ebell, director of CEI's Center for Energy and Environment and former head of Trump's EPA transition team.
A State Department official said a U.S. delegation would travel to Germany, though it would be "much smaller" than in previous years, and would aim to ensure "that decisions are not taken. that would undermine the competitiveness of USA businesses, or hamper our broader objective of advancing USA economic growth and prosperity". "All parties of the global community, including China, had a common consensus on it", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in March.
Some fear a US U-turn would dampen enthusiasm among other signatories for more efforts on emissions-cutting targets.