Official says Trump expected to pull United States from Paris deal

Trump told leaders at the G7 group of nations in Italy on Saturday that he would make his decision over whether the United States continues to back the climate landmark agreement within the next week.

Trump, who has previously called global warming a hoax, did not confirm the decision in a post on Twitter, saying only, "I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days". An overwhelming majority of scientists the human use of fossil fuels for energy is driving climate change.

Trump's top aides have been divided on the accord.

Trump returned to Washington late Saturday after a nine-day trip to the Middle East and Europe, his first trip overseas as president.

French President Emmanuel Macron also chimed in on the climate issue, praising Trump's "capacity to listen".

Supporters of the climate pact are concerned that a USA exit could lead other nations to weaken their commitments or also withdraw, softening an accord that scientists have said is critical to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.

Details on the withdrawal are being worked out by a small team including EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, according to Axios, which broke the story on Wednesday.

The precise mechanism for withdrawal hasn't yet been determined, and White House officials cautioned the plans could change until Trump makes his decision public. Chief strategist Steve Bannon supports an exit, while senior adviser Jared Kushner generally thinks the deal is bad, but would like to find a way to see if the USA emissions targets can be changed.

In analyzing Trump's apparent decision to pull out of the agreement, Axios noted, "It also sends a stark and combative signal to the rest of the world that working with other nations on climate change isn't a priority to the Trump administration". "Climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable", according to The Associated Press.

The landmark climate deal was signed by 195 countries in Paris in December 2016 and came into force 11 months later.

Shortly after the news broke Wednesday, the United Nations official account tweeted a note from U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres: "Climate change is undeniable".

She told reporters: "The entire discussion about climate was very hard, if not to say very dissatisfying".

Trump has also been bombarded with voices urging him to stay in the deal from outside the White House. "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".

  • Salvatore Jensen