We'll always have Paris: Trump should keep his promise

Standing alongside Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, EU Council President Donald Tusk said Friday, "We are convinced that yesterday's decision by the United States to leave the Paris agreement is a big mistake".

Trump, who has previously called global warming a hoax, did not confirm the decision in a post on Twitter, saying only, "I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days".

More than 190 nations agreed to the accord in December 2015 in Paris, and 147 have since formally ratified or otherwise joined it, including the United States - representing more than 80 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

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.

Trump promised during his presidential campaign to pull the USA out of the deal. Even fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell say the United States should abide by the deal. Like the other officials, that person was not authorized to describe the private discussions by name and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

The emissions goals are voluntary with no real consequences for countries that fail to meet them.

Under the agreement, the USA had agreed to reduce the country's pollution emissions to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025 - about 1.6 billion tons.

The rift between Donald Trump and the rest of the world promises to deepen and widen, as the United States president decides to go completely against the environment. Several of his top aides have opposed the action, too, as has his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump.

California Rep. Nancy Pelosi says Trump is "denying scientific truths, removing safeguards that protect our health and our environment, protecting polluters and. threatening our national and global security". On the other hand, 22 GOP senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, penned a letter to the White House arguing that the United States should pull out of the Paris accord because it would reduce legal challenges to efforts to roll back other environmental regulations.

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"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.

"President Trump is also abdicating responsibility to protect communities in Maryland and across the country from the costly threats of drought, wildfire, storms, and sea level rise", Van Hollen said. That means the USA 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.

"Canada is going to show leadership with China and the European Union and we certainly hope the USA will be joining us", McKenna told The Canadian Press in a recent interview.

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.

A frustrated German Chancellor Angela Merkel later warned that Europe "must take its fate into its own hands", citing the differences with Washington on climate change as evidence of their divergent paths.

He said he would make up his mind after returning to the US.

The Agreement called on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future.

White House aides were divided on the topic and had been deliberating on "caveats in the language" as late as Wednesday, one official said. Beijing, however, has reaffirmed its commitment to meeting its targets under the Paris accord, recently canceling construction of about 100 coal-fired power plants and investing billions in massive wind and solar projects.

  • Adam Floyd