President Trump to Announce Paris Accord Decision Later Today

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he intends to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement.

Indeed, Trump's supporters cheered the decision, which marked the fulfillment both of his campaign promise to scrap the climate accord and his broader pledge to put American interests above all else.

He said the USA will cease from adhering to the "non-binding" and "draconian" terms of the deal, but might consider renegotiating it or agreeing to a separate deal. But he indicated that was hardly a priority. Suggesting renegotiating re-entry was not a major priority, he said, "If we can, great. If we can't, that's fine", he added.

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more unsafe levels of warming sooner as a result of the president's decision because America's pollution contributes so much to rising temperatures.

"You had the New Yorkers against it, and all the campaign loyalists for it", a Republican close to the White House told Politico of the push to withdraw.

It's possible that other countries could find a way to compensate for the US withdrawal - or even that a future USA administration would reverse Trump's action soon enough to avert a lot of climate damage.

"From a foreign policy perspective, it's a colossal mistake - an abdication of American leadership " said R. Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state under George W. Bush, told The New York Times. But he was also breaking from many of America's staunches allies, who have expressed alarm about the decision. Former President Barack Obama had agreed to reduce the United States green house gas emissions to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025 or about 1.6 billion tons.

The agreement calls for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by all involved countries starting in 2020 and other commitments to an global fight against climate change.

We'll have more local reaction to Trump's decision tonight on Eyewitness News at 10 and 11.

The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016 - so this means the USA would have to stay with it until November 2019.

Russian Federation joined the chorus speaking out in favour of the climate accord. The Trump administration's announcement undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change and damages the world's ability to avoid the most risky and costly effects of climate change.

"In the absence of federal leadership, San Francisco will continue to take aggressive measures on climate change", Lee said. "Abandoning the Paris deal, the culmination of a multi-year effort by world leaders, is an abdication of our responsibility to leave the world a better place for our children". Many economists believe the accord would likely help create about as many jobs in renewable energy as it might cost in polluting industries.

Other U.S. states and businesses are continuing to move ahead with efforts to cut emissions.

The immediate impact of Trump's move could be largely symbolic.

Scientists have said a US withdrawal from the deal could speed up the effects of global climate change, leading to heat waves, floods, droughts and more frequent violent storms. The decision has no direct impact on major USA regulations on power plants and vehicle rules now aimed at reducing carbon emissions, although those are now under review by Trump as well.

He said: "As of today the United States will cease all implementation of the non binding climate accord".

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu). In this photo taken May 30, 2016, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks in San Francisco. It came via a whiteboard in the office of Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. During Trump's speech, the faint sounds of protesters could be heard in the distance banging drums. Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, said he would resign from White House business councils if Trump followed through. A White House official said the couple instead attended service at synagogue for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. The Dow Jones industrial average rising 135 points for the day.

As for the mechanics of withdrawal, global treaties have a four-year cooling off period from the time they go into effect.

Miguel Arias Cañete, European Union commissioner on climate action and energy, told CNN in a statement that the two powers "are joining forces to forge ahead on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerate the global transition to clean energy".

The president could decide to stay in the treaty, but adjust the voluntary US targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Beijing, however, has reaffirmed its commitment to meeting its targets under the Paris accord, recently canceling construction of about 100 coal-fired power plants and investing billions in massive wind and solar projects. Aides have been deliberating on "caveats in the language", one official said. But Trump's statement was clear and direct.

So was opposition from environmental groups, as expected.

  • Carolyn Briggs