Trump plans to pull US from Paris deal

President Donald Trump on Thursday will announce his decision on whether to keep the United States in a landmark global pact to fight climate change, after a source close to the matter said he was preparing to pull out of the Paris accord.

He has repeatedly tweeted and said in campaign speeches that climate change is a "hoax" and even suggested that China - another frequent Trump target - was behind the plot.

Trump is expected to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, according to two senior U.S. officials familiar with his plans.

As one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the world, a United States withdrawal would represent a major blow to a deal that seeks to limit the worst effects of climate change. But on Wednesday, U.S. coal company shares fell alongside renewable energy stocks following reports that Trump would pull out.

In a statement backed by all 28 EU states, the European Union and China were poised to commit to full implementation of the agreement, EU and Chinese officials said. Our successful cooperation on issues like emissions trading and clean technologies are bearing fruit.

There are a number of aspects of the climate deal that run counter to the president's worldview.

Everyone cautioned that no decision was final until Trump announced it.

Abandoning it could imperil the 195-nation pact, which was legally ratified previous year, by encouraging other countries that only reluctantly signed the agreement to roll back their commitments to cut pollution that contributes to climate change.

A March Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll found that 50 per cent of Republicans agreed that the USA should lead the global fight against climate change, while 37 per cent disagreed and 13 per cent were unsure.

He added: "Fighting climate change is a global consensus, it's not invented by China... and we realize that this is a global consensus agreement and that as a big developing nation we should shoulder our worldwide responsibility".

China and the European Union will seek on Friday to buttress the agreement.

Trump's predecessor Barack Obama enacted the deal without U.S. Senate ratification.

By the rules of the 2015 agreement, Trump can not formally notify the United Nations of his intention to withdraw until three years of it coming into force, and then must wait another year for the withdrawal to take effect. While traveling overseas last week, Trump was repeatedly pressed to stay in the deal by European leaders and the Vatican. "Because the vacuum will be filled, and the Chinese are in prime position to take on a leadership role".

Trump doesn't "comprehensively understand" the terms of the accord, though European leaders tried to explain the process for withdrawing to him "in clear, simple sentences" during summit meetings last week, Jean-Claude Juncker said in Berlin. "It seems this attempt did not succeed, but the law is the law".

"The law is the law, and everyone has to stick to it", he said.

"It's not about the future of the European people, it's above all about the future of people elsewhere", warned Juncker on Wednesday. Climate change is unstoppable.

The Paris Agreement was in part brokered by Obama and was seen as a major breakthrough after the previous accord, the Kyoto protocol, failed to include the USA and China, the world's two biggest polluters. "President Putin signed this convention in Paris", Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters on Thursday. "But there is no alternative as of now".

"This decision sends a unsafe signal to the rest of the world that the United States doesn't honor its commitments", the Facebook event page for the protest reads.

"The Paris Agreement is essential for our collective future", he said, urging civil society and businesses also to play a role.

A White House official told the Associated Press there might be "caveats in the language" regarding the withdrawal from the accord, leaving open the possibility that the withdrawal may not be final and permanent. The exit could take as long as one to nearly four years.

Musk said: "I've done all I can to advise directly" to Trump and through others in the White House.

  • Larry Hoffman