Decision on Paris deal 'very soon': Donald Trump

"AGAIN!", Trump tweeted minutes after several U.S. media organisations, including The New York Times and The Washington Post quoted unnamed sources as saying that the President had chose to pull out.

"I'm hearing from a lot of people, both ways", Trump, who has previously called global warming a hoax aimed at weakening US industry, said as he met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Axios said details of the pullout are being worked out by a team that includes EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer declined during a news briefing to say whether the Republican president might opt for an action short of complete withdrawal.

According to Axios and The New York Times, Trump has chose to exit the Paris agreement, in which all but two of the world's countries submitted pledges to curb their greenhouse gas emissions in order to combat climate change.

The accord, agreed on by almost 200 countries in Paris in 2015, aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

The first was the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, but that deal was a regional one, this could have global consequences. The non-binding treaty, established during a landmark climate change summit in 2015, requires signatories to undertake "rapid reductions" in greenhouse gas emissions - which, in the case of the USA, means instituting domestic regulations that will bring economy-wide emissions to below 2005 levels over the next decade. In addition to Musk, Trump named the chief executives of JP Morgan, Disney and IBM to the panel.

Those targets already appear out of reach with President Trump's rollback of the Clean Power Plan and other Obama-era policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

To discuss the possibilities of the US leaving the Paris Climate accord, CGTN's Elaine Reyes spoke with Tao Zhang, managing director of the green innovation and investment firm, Dao Ventures. For him, a withdrawal might be a way of making good on his pledge to put "America First", ahead of worldwide obligations negotiated by his predecessors.

In a tweet, Trump had said he would be announcing his decision on the 2015 deal in the next few days.

News of Trump's expected decision drew swift reaction from the United Nations.

It could have sweeping implications for the deal, which relies heavily on the commitment of big polluter countries to reduce emissions of gases scientists blame for sea level rise, droughts and more frequent violent storms.

As Trump returned home to the United States, Merkel told a crowd in Munich that Europe could no longer rely on US leadership.

Guterres said in that speech that "it would be very important for the US not to leave the Paris agreement".

Backing out of the agreement that way would take time, but would make it easier for the USA to return to climate change negotiations if a future administration would want to, says Andrew Light, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute and a professor at George Mason University. But stocks lost ground as Bank of America (BAC) and Dow component JPMorgan Chase (JPM) said that low stock-market volatility would cut into second-quarter results and economic data pointed to slowing Chicago-area manufacturing activity.

At a conference near Los Angeles, Democrat Hillary Clinton, whom Trump defeated for the presidency a year ago, said withdrawing would be a mistake.

"You're going to find out very soon", he said when pressed further on the withdrawal.

USA coal company shares dipped alongside renewable energy stocks on Wednesday. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who helped negotiate the agreement, responded to a Twitter user who shared a photo of Kerry signing the agreement at the United Nations with his granddaughter on his lap.

Other countries rallied behind the Paris accord on Wednesday.

Canada, the European Union, and China have said they will honor their commitments to the pact even if the United States withdraws.

Trump is reportedly still deliberating whether to remain in the accord, which is created to slow the trend of climate change now rapidly warming the planet.

Trump vowed during his 2016 presidential campaign to "cancel" the Paris deal within 100 days of becoming president on January 20 as part of an effort to bolster USA oil and coal industries.

That promise helped rally supporters sharing his scepticism of global efforts to police United States carbon emissions.

"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.

After taking office, however, Mr Trump faced pressure to stay in the deal from investors, worldwide powers and business leaders, including some in the coal industry.

Senior adviser Steve Bannon, who wants Trump to focus on actions that will rev up his conservative political base, has long opposed the Paris accord.

Trump had waffled on his decision whether to keep the U.S. committed to the landmark 2015 agreement or fulfill his campaign promise to pull out.

Trump's daughter, Ivanka, favours staying in, the official said, and she has sought to ensure her father heard all sides in the debate.

  • Leroy Wright