China makes concessions to Germany on electric car quotas

In face of global uncertainties, anti-globalization sentiment and rising protectionism in the world, China and Germany should continue to promote trade liberalization and investment facilitation and safeguard the regulations of the World Trade Organization, Li said during talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

Li Shuo, a climate campaigner with Greenpeace China, said a Trump decision to retreat from the Paris climate deal would "no doubt leave a big hole in the worldwide climate regime", which would have to be filled by other key players, particularly China.

Other European leaders issued more explicit appeals to the USA government not to abandon worldwide measures against climate change.

"China will stand by its responsibility", he said, adding that Beijing would keep working with worldwide partners to address the problem of climate change. It would send a clear message if Trump does decide to withdraw from the 195-nation deal - a decision expected to be announced early on Friday morning.

Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative on climate change, said in January, just days before Trump was sworn in as the new USA president, that China was already "capable of taking a leadership role" in the global campaign against climate change.

Johnson told Sky News that Britain still wants the take the lead in fighting climate change and called on individual USA states to keep making progress on that front.

U.S. President Trump called global warming "a hoax" during his election campaign, and promised to scrap the agreement and return jobs to the coal industry.

While travelling overseas last week, Mr Trump was repeatedly pressed to stay in the deal by European leaders as well as Pope Francis. Trump said on Twitter that he'll make an announcement on whether to stay in the climate accord at 3 Washington. A spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said Russian Federation "thinks highly" of the accords and sees no alternative to it. If the USA does leave, he said, the Europe Union should seek ways to balance out the economic advantage that US companies might have from the absence of climate regulations.

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more unsafe levels of warming sooner if the USA retreats from its pledge because America contributes so much to rising temperatures.

Calculations suggest withdrawal could release up to three billion additional tonnes of carbon dioxide a year - enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise sea levels and trigger more extreme weather.

  • Joanne Flowers