US is pulling out of Paris climate change accord

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more risky levels of warming sooner if the US retreats from its pledge because America contributes so much to rising temperatures. Framing his decision as "a reassertion of America's sovereignty", he said, "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris".

Mr Trump suggested that other nations were "laughing" at the U.S. and that the accord was "about other countries gaining an advantage over the United States".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday said he thinks Trump doesn't "comprehensively understand" the terms of the agreement that was brokered by former President Barack Obama.

Q: What would the U.S. quitting the agreement mean?

"In order to fulfil my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate accord", Trump said. If we can, that's great. "If we can't, that's fine".

President Donald Trump may abandon US pledges to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, but that step seems unlikely to stall the push to adopt cleaner forms of energy. Moreover, he said, America's work in wind and solar industries also helped move other countries to join, as those industries "created some of the fastest new streams of good-paying jobs in recent years, and contributed to the longest streak of job creation in our history".

Trump's influential daughter Ivanka Trump's preference is to stay, but she has made it a priority to establish a review process so her father would hear from all sides, said a senior administration official. Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more unsafe levels of warming sooner as a result of the president's decision because America contributes so much to rising temperatures.

He said: "If Mr Trump wants to leave the climate pact, then we must talk openly about trade relations and market distortions".

However, thorny issues remain between the two exporting nations, with Merkel insisting that China opens up its markets and that German firms operating there should have a level playing field.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors said it strongly opposed Trump's action and vowed to continue efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

9am Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: "Climate change is a global challenge".

The agreement was a focus of Trump's campaign, with the longtime businessman arguing that it was a burden on USA consumers and energy producers. "This takes three, four years - which is laid down in the agreement itself". Major U.S. allies, business leaders and even the Pope had urged the remain in the deal.

Canete also predicted that the European Union would seek new alliances from the world's largest economies to the most vulnerable island states, as well as USA businesses and individuals supportive of the accord.

The Chinese government cancelled construction of more than 100 new coal-fired power plants earlier this year, announcing plans to invest at least $360 billion in green-energy projects by 2020. A White House official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Trump is expected to withdraw from the deal, though aides cautioned he had not yet made a final decision.

Pence introduced Trump in the Rose Garden Thursday. The study he cites has been heavily disputed by environmental groups.

Among the political leaders swift to condemn Donald Trump's decision to opt out of the Paris climate accord was Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, whose city received a shout-out in the president's announcement.

  • Carolyn Briggs