UN warns Trump against quitting Paris Climate Deal

Trump's predecessor Barack Obama enacted the deal without U.S. Senate ratification.

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.

Supporters of the climate pact are concerned that a USA exit could lead other nations to weaken their commitments or also withdraw, softening an accord that scientists have said is critical to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's supporters on Friday cast his decision to abandon the world's climate change pact as a "refreshing" stance for the USA that would save jobs and unburden industry.

Canada, the European Union and China have said they will honour their commitments to the pact if the United States withdraws.

Although the officials caution no decision is final until the president officially announces it, the White House is now working on how to roll out the announcement and explain the reasons behind Trump's decision. But the targets were voluntary, meaning the USA and the almost 200 other nations in the agreement could alter their commitments.

Under Obama, Washington had pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

The uncertain future of US involvement in the accord pushed even big oil companies like Shell and Exxon, as well as tech companies large and small, to make an appeal to the Trump administration not to back out of the agreement.

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

Trump's top aides have been divided on the accord.

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The EU official also said the EU-China meeting will "send important signals for the multinational system", as Trump moves to unpick some of the worldwide trade agreements the US has signed up to.

A withdrawal would put the United States in the same camp as Nicaragua and Syria: a tiny group of countries refusing to participate in the nearly universally supported Paris climate change agreement.

"One of the topics that they discussed, of course, was the President's upcoming decision on the Paris Climate Accords", White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily news conference.

Responding to Trump's pointing to his city, Pittsburgh, Mayor Bill Peduto called the decision "disastrous for our planet, for cities such as Pittsburgh", and a step that "has made America weaker and the world less safe".

The president, however, argued the agreement had disadvantaged the U.S. "The falling cost of renewables is one of the most encouraging stories on the planet today", he said adding that in the United States and China, new renewable energy jobs now outstrip those created in the oil and gas industries.

But House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California called it "a stunning abdication of American leadership and a grave threat to our planet's future".

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged the world to raise its ambition in implementing the Paris climate agreement as the United States weighed pulling out of the landmark emissions-cutting deal.

In a Berlin speech, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that fighting climate change is a "global consensus" and an "international responsibility".

During a trip to Europe this week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed India's commitment to fighting climate change and said it would be a "crime" to spoil the environment for future generations. Senior adviser Jared Kushner generally thinks the deal is bad, but would like to find a way to see if the US emissions targets can be changed.

"The big question is whether a US withdrawal would lead to USA investors and utilities actually starting to build new plants that commit to high future emissions", said Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute.


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