Trump to announce if US will stay in Paris climate deal

Exiting the deal would fulfill a central campaign pledge from the president, but would be certain to anger allies that spent years negotiating the accord to reduce carbon emissions.

President Donald Trump says he'll announce his decision on the Paris climate accord "over the next few days". The official says Trump and his aides are looking at "caveats in the language" related to the exit. Trump met Wednesday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has favored remaining in the agreement. Senior adviser Jared Kushner generally thinks the deal is bad but still would like to see if emissions targets can be changed.

Abandoning the pact would isolate the US from a raft of worldwide allies who spent years negotiating the 2015 agreement to fight global warming and pollution by reducing carbon emissions in almost 200 nations. That means the US would remain in the agreement, at least formally, for another three-and-a-half years, ensuring the issue remains alive in the next presidential election.

The Trump administration is also considering pulling the USA from the Paris Climate Agreement, which commits the world to keeping global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels through 2100.

Trump had vowed during his 2016 presidential campaign to "cancel" the Paris deal within 100 days of becoming president as part of an effort to bolster U.S. oil and coal industries.

As President Donald Trump is deciding whether the US should remain in the Paris climate deal, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres is calling on the world to unite to fight the "unprecedented and growing threat" of climate change. "Climate action is unstoppable".

UN Secretary-General: "Climate action is not just a necessity but an opportunity to forge a peaceful and sustainable future on a healthy planet". But Trump's statement was clear and direct.

Trump has repeatedly expressed doubts about climate change, at times calling it a hoax to weaken US industry.

Contradicting the consensus of the scientific community, the then-steak salesman routinely conflated weather with climate on Twitter - climate referring to long-term atmospheric trends whereas weather is what causes your tie to flip up, revealing several pieces of Scotch tape.

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.

Administration officials, from left, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, and Vice President Mike Pence, applaud as President Donal. That means the USA could stay in the accord and choose not to hit its goals or stay in the pact but adjust its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Administrator Scott Pruitt is part of a small team working on whether to go for a full and formal exit, which will take three years, or if the USA should back out of the United Nations climate change treaty, which would be faster, according to Axios.

Congressional Republicans applauded the decision, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky saying Trump had "put families and jobs ahead of left-wing ideology and should be commended". Guterres noted that natural gas, extracted by the controversial technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, burns cleaner than oil or coal, and will likely play a much bigger role in the evolving global energy economy in years to come.

India and Spain on Wednesday expressed their commitment to fighting climate change and reiterated their support for implementing the Kyoto and Paris accords.

"Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is an important and necessary step toward reversing the harmful energy policies and unlawful overreach of the Obama era", 10 Republicans states attorneys general wrote in a letter sent to Trump in May.

Hundreds of high-profile businesses have spoken out in favor of the deal, including Apple, Google and Walmart.

Guterres said he was engaging with the administration and Congress to try to convince them that it is in the United States' interest to stay in the deal, which seeks to keep the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Referring to the Paris deal as a "massive redistribution of United States wealth" to other countries, the president made the case that the deal fundamentally disadvantages the US economically, relative to other countries. But the country set aside $360 billion for renewable energy investment over the next four years and, in January, canceled plans for 103 new coal-fired power plants.

  • Zachary Reyes