Trump talks to key world leaders on Paris treaty decision

However, senior Republicans and the USA coal industry backed the move.

Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto's pithy reply aside - he nearly instantly tweeted back, "As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future" - what Trump's speech failed to acknowledge was what the potential impact of scaling back green environmental research and technology could be on the American economy. He said the accord would "keep our handsome country tied up and bound down" but said he was open to renegotiating.

"I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris", Trump said. 'Without US participation, it is more hard to achieve the goals of the Paris agreement, but the rest of the world is still behind it.

Only Syria and Nicaragua did not sign up to the deal.

But the president never said he was pulling out of the agreement because he felt climate change is a "hoax", or as he put it in one 2014 tweet: "bulls--".

On Thursday, in a speech that kept a campaign pledge and echoed the fiery "America first" nationalism of his inaugural address, Trump said: "As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord".

A US withdrawal would deepen a rift with USA allies and put the United States in the same league as Syria and Nicaragua as the world's only non-participants in the landmark 195-nation accord agreed upon in Paris in 2015.

Asian countries fear Trump's move will create a leadership void and leave the agreement, crafted painstakingly over years, at risk of unraveling.

What has the reaction been?

During Obama's tenure, the United States had agreed under the accord to reduce emissions by more than a quarter below 2005 levels by 2025.

Disney's chief executive Robert Iger and the entrepreneur Elon Musk both resigned from White House advisory councils. The officials, who did not wish to be named, did nothing to alter perceptions of the USA president as a climate change denier when asked whether he believed human activity was a contributory factor.

Trump said the United States was "getting out" of a deal he said imposed "draconian" burdens costing billions of dollars and millions of U.S.jobs.

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy joined to express regret at Trump's decision and insisted the agreement "cannot be renegotiated".

"Until we do that, we are out of the agreement", he said. We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore.

"The Paris Agreement provides the right global framework for protecting the prosperity and security of future generations, while keeping energy affordable and secure for our citizens and businesses", British Prime Minister Theresa May told Trump in a telephone conversation.

Canada was "deeply disappointed" by President Trump's decision, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

To reduce the amount of harmful greenhouse gases produced. On Friday morning, senior White House aides, including counselor Kellyanne Conway, declined to answer questions about the president's personal beliefs on climate change during television interviews.

Media captionCan coal make a comeback under Trump?

  • Carolyn Briggs