Trump wants to leave Paris climate deal, sources say

During a working lunch in Brussels ahead of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, President Trump made it clear to Macron he would not announce a decision on the Paris climate agreement prior to the G7, this official told CNN.

However, in the official dispatch from the G7, which all countries typically sign onto, the United States did not join the climate section of the communique.

US President Donald Trump has left the G7 summit in Sicily with a parting-shot tweet saying he hadn't made up his mind whether to back a major accord on climate change.

Climate was among the most disputed issues separating Trump from other leaders at the two-day meeting on the Sicilian coast.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters the climate debate was "controversial" and that the leaders of the other G7 nations - France, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and Italy - all urged Trump to remain a part of the 2015 agreement.

His stance left him isolated, with Mr Trump's reluctance to reaffirm his commitment clearly annoying German chancellor Angela Merkel, who told reporters: "The entire discussion about climate was very hard, if not to say very dissatisfying".

"The issue of the Paris climate accord remains suspended, as President Trump is engaged in internal reflection on the matter", the G7 leaders stated in a press release.

Diplomats spent days trying to hammer out language for the G-7 joint statement. At one point this week, the words "Paris Agreement" were almost excluded from the statement, underscoring how contentious the issue became in Taormina, said a Canadian government official who spoke on the condition on anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, negotiated the deal and agreed reduce the country's emissions by between 26 and 28 percent by 2025 compared to 2005 levels.

President Donald Trump arrives for a family photo at the G-7 Summit expanded session in Taormina, Sicily, Italy May 27, 2017.

Trump returns to Washington as the lead Senate committee investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election has requested information and documents from his campaign.

The President, who was granted five military deferments during Vietnam, commended USA troops, saying that "you are protecting us and we will always remember that". Environmental chief Scott Pruitt and top strategist Steve Bannon are pushing for a pullout.

That would be one reason why Trudeau is praising the outcome, but there were other leaders who avoided the tap dance and expressed frustration with the new man in the White House.

If Trump has already made his decision regarding the deal, then it would be a break from what he's said publicly this week.

But accusations from US intelligence agencies that Russia intervened in the USA election to help Trump and investigations into his campaign's contacts with Russian officials have hung over his four-month-old presidency and prevented him from getting too close to Moscow.

This is despite USA defence secretary James Mattis saying in an interview to air on Sunday that the president is now "wide open" on the issue. Trump may be willing to stay in the agreement, Cohn said, if the United States of America can scale back commitments made by former President Barack Obama. "He came here to learn, he came here to get smarter and he came here to hear people's views".

Gentiloni said climate was "not a minor point" and that he hoped the United States would decide "soon and well" because the Paris accords "need the contribution of the United States". It calls for reducing pollution in hopes of limiting global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above temperatures at the outset of the industrial revolution.

But Gary Cohn, Trump's economic advisor, on Friday said the president had told his G7 colleagues that he regarded the environment as important.

"He stands in stark isolation", Meyer said.

Abandoning the Paris agreement would carry a high political cost internationally, with Europe, Canada, China and Japan all strongly committed to the deal.

  • Leroy Wright