Trump Pulls Out of the Paris Climate Agreement

"And we will start to renegotiate and we'll see if there's a better deal. And if we can, that's great, and if we can't, that's fine", he added.

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy released a joint statement in which they expressed "regret" at the move but insisted the agreement is not up for negotiation. State and local governments affect emissions as well; California, defying the White House, is pursuing its own rigorous climate regulations. And the final decision may not be entirely clear-cut: Aides were still deliberating on "caveats in the language", one official said. The U.S., the world's second largest emitter of carbon, would be required to reduce fossil fuel emissions almost 30 percent by 2025.

"As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord", said Trump.

And while China's commitment keeps the Paris deal alive, it could struggle without US support to persuade the rest of the world to live up to its promises.

The global accord was reached in 2015.

As a candidate, Trump vowed to "cancel" the Paris climate deal during his first major policy speech on energy in March 2016.

"By expanding markets for innovative clean technologies, the agreement generates jobs and economic growth", it says.

A person familiar with Trump's thinking said the President was convinced he needed to withdraw from the pact, and there was little chance of talking him out of it.

Bernie Sanders tweeted, "Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement is an abdication of American leadership and an worldwide disgrace.When climate change is already causing devastating harm, we don't have the moral right to turn our backs on efforts to preserve this planet".

The uncertainty over Trump's decision has lent the Paris announcement a reality show-like air, with Thursday's unveiling a finale to a months-long debate that has split members of the President's inner circle and led to deep consternation from global allies. "The report is a useful statement of what might happen if the Trump administration got its way", says David Keith, professor of applied physics and public policy at Harvard University.

Inside the West Wing, attempts to sway Trump's thinking also continued apace. Trump's decision came less than a week after Trump met with world leaders in Sicily, where closed-door discussions included pleas for the United States to stick to the consensus agreed to in Paris in 2015 and consummated past year.

But Trump, who campaigned on a pledge to cancel United States participation in the deal, said he would ditch the Paris accord because it handicaps the USA economy.

On the campaign trail, Trump argued that the accord was bad for the USA economy, a point he returned to at the White House on Thursday, citing potential job losses and economic burdens that would ostensibly come from complying with the pact. Chief strategist Steve Bannon supports an exit, as does Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.

"Climate change is real".

"As President I can put no other consideration before the well-being of American citizens", Trump went on.

Local governments were charting their own paths even as candidate Trump was promising to cancel USA participation in the Paris agreement.

The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be in the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created. "I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack".

Former President Barack Obama said the Trump administration is joining "a small handful of nations that reject the future" by withdrawing from the Paris climate change pact. More than 20 Republican senators have called for Trump to leave the deal.

  • Zachary Reyes