United Nations chief Guterres says climate deal is essential

What is the Paris accord?

Gutteres never mentioned the American leader by name in his speech at New York University's Stern School of Business, his first major address on climate change since taking the reins of the United Nations on January 1. "The sheer size of the United States economy means it is, inevitably, a critical player in the global task of reducing carbon emissions", he wrote.

For Trump, however, the lack of a decision on the climate accord put an uncertain ending on an ambitious first presidential trip overseas that began as a respite from the surfeit of scandal at home.

In an unprecedented step, the final statement will give the US its own section to say that it is "undergoing a review process" and is unable to join in the discussion, one official said.

Business leaders say the Paris deal, also called COP21, will help generate new jobs, limit damage from climate change and help assert American leadership on the global stage.

"Here we have a situation of six against one, meaning there is still no sign of whether the USA will remain in the Paris accord or not", she added.

The president's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, chimed in to say that the president's decision about whether to remain in the agreement would ultimately be based on what's best for the United States, to which Cohn concurred.

Trip stops in Saudi Arabia and Israel and the Palestinian territories secured broadly favourable coverage with Trump seen by some commentators as having finally hit a presidential note.

In Taormina, Trump said he would not yet make a decision about whether the United States would remain in the Paris Agreement, or withdraw from it. The other G7 countries - Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan - reaffirmed their support for the accord last week.

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

Guterres also pledged to work with developing countries to mobilize resources to tackle the impact of climate change and strengthen efforts by small island states against "the existential threat" that global warming poses.

And writing for BusinessGreen today, former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Sir Edward Davey warned a USA exit from the agreement would be the "height of irresponsibility".

While the first half of the week saw leaders in Saudi Arabia and Israel greet Trump with open arms, Trump's arrival in Europe resurfaced questions about the US President's position toward Russian Federation and drew attention again to the federal investigation in Washington.

"We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands", she said, reportedly to great applause from her 2000 listeners, referring to both the "new USA government of Donald Trump" and "imminent Brexit of Great Britain".

Guterres said he intends to convene a climate summit in 2019 to review implementation of the global climate deal. At NATO, the White House touted the alliance's commitment to boosting defense spending, though the resolution was essentially a continuation of a pact agreed to two years earlier. Todd Stern, former climate envoy for President Barack Obama said withdrawal would be "an act of diplomatic malpractice".

Last week, Guterres told the BBC the agreement would "not collapse" if the United States backed out.

"It is very clear that governments aren't everything".

"The climate conversation should cease to be a shouting match".

  • Leroy Wright