United Nations chief calls on world to back Paris climate deal
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 01, 2017,
Jun 01, 2017, 1:08
A US withdrawal puts the U.S.in an isolated position in the world on climate change, as 195 countries signed the Paris agreement, which went into effect past year, and 147 nations have ratified it, CBS News' Pamela Falk reports.
But Trump's chief White House economic adviser, Gary Cohn, told reporters during the trip overseas that Trump's views on climate change were "evolving" following the president's discussions with European leaders.
"We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands", she said, reportedly to great applause from her 2000 listeners, referring to both the "new USA government of Donald Trump" and "imminent Brexit of Great Britain".
The United States is the world's second biggest carbon emitter, after China.
"Some may seek to portray the response to climate change as a fundamental threat to the economy", Guterres said.
Trump, who has previously called global warming a hoax, came under concerted pressure from the other leaders to honour the agreement on curbing carbon emissions.
The final G-7 statement, issued after two days of talks in the seaside town of Taormina, said the U.S.
Leaving the deal would fulfill a central campaign pledge, but would anger global allies who spent years in hard negotiations that produced an accord to reduce carbon emissions.
Shortly after the news broke Wednesday, the United Nations official account tweeted a note from U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres: "Climate change is undeniable. And climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable". Trump had promised during the campaign to "cancel" the almost 200-nation agreement, the most comprehensive climate pact ever negotiated.
Ahead of Trump's foreign trip, Tillerson insisted the White House reschedule a meeting between advisers to discuss the climate agreement so that he could attend. The White House initially aimed to make a final decision on the landmark climate deal earlier this month, but delayed action until after the G7 in Italy.
When asked on Tuesday whether Trump believes human activity is contributing to climate change, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters, "Honestly, I haven't asked him that".
Even Russia is part of the Paris climate agreement.
Word of Trump's expected decision comes a day after the president met with Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Supporters of the climate pact are concerned that a USA exit could lead other nations to weaken their commitments or also withdraw, softening an accord that scientists have said is critical to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.