Trump planning to pull United States out of Paris climate deal

European leaders lobbied hard to try to persuade Trump at the last minute not to withdraw.

President Donald Trump may abandon USA pledges to reduce carbon emissions, but global economic realities ensure he is unlikely to reverse the accelerating push to adopt cleaner forms of energy.

The White House did not confirm those reports, and it was unclear whether Trump would fully scrap United States participation, merely water down United States emissions objectives - or surprise everyone with a decision to follow the status quo. Even if President Donald Trump withdraws US support for the Paris climate change accord, domestic efforts to battle global warming will continue.

The pact is the first legally binding global deal to fight climate change. Virtually every nation voluntarily committed to steps aimed at curbing global emissions of "greenhouse" gases.

Third: Engagement with Governments and major actors, including the coal, oil and gas industries, to accelerate the global transition to sustainable energy.

The accord aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from burning of fossil fuels.

The Paris agreement commits signatories to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, which is blamed for melting ice caps and glaciers, rising sea levels and more violent weather events. The president immediately began gutting Barack Obama's environmental policies, saying he would prefer to create more coal mining jobs even as industry analysts have argued that consumers seek renewable, cleaner sources of energy, such as solar, wind and other alternatives.

The agreement makes provision for parties to withdraw, but notice can be given only three years after its entry into force in 2016.

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.

News of Mr Trump's expected decision drew swift reaction. Friends of the Earth said it would make America the world's "foremost climate villain".

Word of a possible US pullout from the agreement prompted derisive howls in the European Parliament on May 31. Climate change is unstoppable.

"I understand that if they decide to pull out it will be disappointing but I really don't think this will change the course of mankind", European Commission vice president for energy, Maros Sefcovic, said at a briefing. "People die or are obliged to leave their homes because of desertification, lack of water, exposure to disease, extreme weather conditions".

"Coal plants continue to retire in the USA because they simply don't make economic sense any more", it says.

He was speaking as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said there was an "international responsibility" for countries to take action over climate change during a trip to Europe for talks with European Union officials.

Trump, a former real-estate executive, also heard from other business leaders who favor the agreement on May 31. Elon Musk, the tech billionaire and founder of Tesla, tweeted earlier this month that he spoke with Trump about sticking with the deal.

The UN chief also said that he will work to with UN Member States mobilize national and global resources for adaptation, resilience, and the implementation of national climate action plans, and called for new and strengthened partnerships, including with the private sector and through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation.

Since he took office on January 20, Trump's take on the global climate has alarmed many scientists.

  • Carolyn Briggs