Trump withdraws from climate pact, world leaders push back

At a summit meeting of the G7 group of leading economies over the weekend, Mr Trump refused to join the other six leaders in pledging to implement the Paris accord and said he would announce the USA position this week.

That's what Trump says in a tweet, and he adds: "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

The White House had signaled earlier in the week that withdrawal was likely, but Trump has been known to change his mind at the last minute on such major decisions. Others who supported staying included Trump's secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and major oil companies such as ExxonMobil and Shell. Several of his top aides have opposed the action, too, as has his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump.

Pence praised Trump's leadership and said Trump is "is choosing to put the forgotten men and women of America first".

Guterres said in that speech that "it would be very important for the US not to leave the Paris agreement".

"If we lag, the noose tightens", said Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer, co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change.

It very likely will take place in Canada, around the same time as the United Nations General Assembly, which starts in New York City on September 12.

Q: What does the Paris climate deal actually do? The Sierra Club said a U.S. withdrawal from the Paris deal would be a "historic mistake".

This was preceded by comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who after meeting with Trump, said Sunday that Europe had to take its fate into "its own hands" and that the continent's days of relying on its partners were "over to a certain extent", the Independent reported. A White House official said earlier in the day the USA would withdraw from the pact. Modi on Wednesday expressed India's commitment to fighting climate change and said it would be a "crime" to spoil the environment for future generations. Withdrawing would leave the United States aligned only with Russian Federation among the world's industrialized economies.

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

News of Trump's expected decision drew swift reaction from the United Nations.

The U.N.'s main Twitter page quotes Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as saying: "Climate change is undeniable".

As a technology executive who has cited climate change as a key reason behind his push for electric vehicles, Musk has a personal and professional stake in the United States' climate change policies.

"Disappointed by early reports that the United States will join Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries not party to the #ParisAgreement", tweeted Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who co-chairs the House Climate Solutions Caucus that includes 20 GOP and 20 Democratic lawmakers.

Democratic lawmakers slammed President Trump on Wednesday as news spread that he plans to pull out of the Paris climate accord, but there's not much they can do to about it if he does.

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.

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more unsafe levels of warming sooner as a result of the president's decision because America's pollution contributes so much to rising temperatures. Supporters of the deal say it's not an either-or choice. Like his boss, the agency head has questioned the consensus of climate scientists that the Earth is warming and that man-made emissions are to blame.

The immediate impact of Trump's move could be largely symbolic.

The US is among the 147 countries and parties that have ratified the agreement but President Donald Trump has voiced concerns that the deal signed by the previous US administration could harm the US economy.

The decision to withdraw from the climate accord was influenced by a letter from 22 Republican US senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling for an exit, Axios reported. And the private sector is already shifting toward cleaner energy: Cheap natural gas and renewables will continue to drive the retirement of coal plants.

Hundreds of high-profile businesses have spoken out in favour of the deal, including Apple, Google and Walmart.

  • Joey Payne