Trump planning to pull US out of Paris climate deal

Responding to questions from reporters in the Oval Office, Mr Trump said he had been hearing from people on both sides of the Paris issue, but declined to indicate whether he had made up his mind.

US businesses including Exxon Mobil and even a coal company are urging Trump to stay in the accord because there are billions of dollars at stake in clean energy investment.

News website Axios reported on Wednesday that Trump is planning to pull the United States out of the deal, which would reduce greenhouse gases and mitigate the risks of climate change, although Trump is yet to formally announce anything.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says fighting climate change is a "global consensus" and an "international responsibility". Virtually every nation voluntarily committed to steps aimed at curbing global emissions of "greenhouse" gases.

The accord aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from burning of fossil fuels. The U.S. has agreed to reduce its emissions by 2025 to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels - about 1.6 billion tons.

Reacting to news reports of Trump's decision, Samantha Power, President Obama's ambassador to the United Nations, posted on Twitter: "The end of the American Century". Tesla's Elon Musk threatened to quit White House advisory councils if the president pulls out.

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

Withdrawing from the Paris agreement is one of Trumps major electoral promises.

"That comes as no surprise to anybody paying attention to global average temperature, the Trump administration, the deep state that operates within the United States or myriad of other factors associated with our near term demise as species", said Dr. Guy McPherson, professor emeritus of natural resources - ecology - and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona.

Trump's chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, has discussed the possibility of changing the USA carbon reduction targets instead of pulling out of the deal completely.

When former President Barack Obama formally entered into the Paris Agreement in 2016, he did so as an "executive agreement" in which he didn't need Senate approval.

The only Canadian leader who understood the importance of Canada moving in sync with the USA on carbon pricing - lest we deliberately undermine our economy - was former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper.

A US pullout could have sweeping implications for the deal, which relies heavily on the commitment of big polluter nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. "Both ways", Mr Trump said.

At a Wednesday news conference, a government spokesman said Macron had told a cabinet meeting France would be "very pro-active" in working to ensure the Paris accord was implemented.

Pelosi says most Americans - regardless of political affiliation - want clear, decisive action to arrest the effects of climate change.

In Congress, 40 Democratic senators sent Trump a letter saying withdrawal would hurt America's credibility and influence on the world stage. The choice is between a formal withdrawal that could take three years or leaving the United Nations treaty that the accord is based on, which would be quicker but more extreme, according to Axios.

The former vice president's warning comes as Trump is said to be considering possibly withdrawing the US from the 195-nation agreement, which is aimed at broadly cutting carbon emissions and slowing the effects of climate change.

  • Zachary Reyes