Trump to Pull US Out of Paris Climate Agreement

The "stay-in" camp, which included Trump's daughter Ivanka, chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, had argued the United States could reduce its voluntary emission-cuts targets while still keeping a voice within the accord.

A White House official, who was not identified, told The Associated Press that there might be "caveats in the language" the president uses to withdraw from the agreement, "leaving open the possibility that the decision isn't final".

"Details on just how exactly the United States will be withdrawing are still being worked out by a team that includes EPA administrator Scott Pruitt", CBS News reported. He has described global warming as a hoax and refused to endorse the deal at the recent G7 summit over weekend, saying he needed more time.

Signed a little more than year ago by 195 nations, the Paris deal is meant to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and is seen as one of former President Barack Obama's biggest triumphs.

A formal withdrawal would take three years, but that could be expedited if the USA pulls out of an underlying United Nations treaty.

Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he would announce his decision "over the next few days".

The report of the apparent decision comes hours after the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the U.S. to remain within the Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit global warming to as close to 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible.

A withdrawal by the United States would be disappointing but the European Union stands ready to take global leadership on the issue, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said in Brussels. The issue of climate change has divided key officials in the administration.

Environmental groups derided the Trump administration's reported decision.

Trump has threatened in the past to leave the agreement, casting the deal - like other multilateral agreements - as unfair to the US economy.

The United States is the world's second-highest contributing nation of greenhouse gases, surpassed only by China.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and 21 other Republican sent Trump a letter last week urging him to follow through on his campaign pledge to pull out of the climate accord.

Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipila said a USA withdrawal would be a big setback, adding that "we must find partners to continue, because this work must not stop".

"Today's latest news, that we are pulling out of the Paris climate accords - I think we are one of three countries, joining Syria". On his recent trip overseas, Trump was pressured by European allies to stay a part of the accord.

Major companies supported the agreement as well.

  • Carolyn Briggs