China, EU to Announce Joint Climate Plans, Support for Paris Deal

Donald Trump is expected to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, a White House official has said.

Exiting the deal would fulfill a central campaign pledge from the president, but would be certain to anger allies that spent years negotiating the accord to reduce carbon emissions. According to data from Google Trends, which monitors what people search for using the company's eponymous search tool, users felt a more pressing urge to search for Trump's bewildering tweet-and not reports of a surprising policy decision.

The President had not announced the decision at presstime but said it was coming in the next few days.

While he now favours an exit, he has been known to change his thinking on major decisions and tends to seek counsel from a range of inside and outside advisers, many with differing agendas, until the last minute.

His senior aides have been divided on the accord.

Trump on Wednesday declared that abandoning the Paris climate agreement would be a victory for the American economy. The only other two countries that do not support the deal are Nicaragua and Syria.

The president has always been opposed to the 2015 deal in which 195 nations agreed to combat climate change by curbing global carbon emissions, and during his campaign he vowed to pull out of the deal.

Some northern European countries are criticizing the US for its expected withdrawal from the Paris climate accords. While travelling overseas last week, Trump was repeatedly pressed to stay in the deal by European leaders and the Vatican. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with him at length about the issue during a meeting in Brussels, and at the Vatican, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin made his own pro-Paris pitch to Mr Trump and his advisers.

Trump said he would "cancel" the deal on the campaign trial and his campaign's energy plan included a pledge to "cancel the Paris climate agreement and stop all payments of USA tax dollars to United Nations global warming programs". While a shift of focus back onto fossil fuels will undoubtedly provide jobs growth in the short-term, whether the president believes in climate change or not, the future of energy is in renewables.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey pointed out that if the president does withdraw, the move would make the US one of three countries to leave the agreement. Such an assertion stands in defiance of broad scientific consensus.

"If President Trump decides to remove the United States from this agreement, it will weaken our standing globally allowing other countries to adopt leading roles when it comes to our shared responsibility to protect our planet for future generations", said house democratic Caucus chairman Joe Crowley.

Draft leaders' statements seen by Politico ahead of the summit, due to take place Thursday and Friday, suggest China and the European Union are to deepen cooperation without the USA, amidst widespread reports that President Donald Trump is to pull his nation out of the 2015 accord.

Earlier, a group of 22 Republican Senators including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a letter urged Trump to withdraw from the agreement. So the country leaving the Paris accords could be seen as an global declaration of the course that Trump has already set domestically.

Why is the Trump administration seeking to leave the deal?

A White House official says Trump's expected to withdraw the United States from the landmark agreement.

The US is now one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the world.

  • Zachary Reyes