Trump expected to leave climate deal _ but with 'caveats'

Posted June 02, 2017

A United States withdrawal from the 196-party pact signed in Paris 18 months ago would deal a devastating global efforts to combat climate change.

"By succumbing to pressure from administrator Scott Pruitt and other advisors, President Trump is ceding the future to the Germans, the Chinese, the Indians, and other nations rather than having the United States continue to lead the world on clean energy solutions", said Democrat Ed Markey.

"How can it be the right thing for the United States to create a world where there are two clubs: Everybody else and the United States, Syria, and Nicaragua", said Summers, the 71st United States Secretary of the Treasury from July 1999 until January 2001.

Trump doesn't "comprehensively understand" the terms of the accord, though European leaders tried to explain the process for withdrawing to him "in clear, simple sentences" during summit meetings last week, Jean-Claude Juncker said in Berlin.

Trump's decision marked "a sad day for the global community", said Miguel Arias Canete, climate action commissioner for the European Union.

US President Donald Trump is due to announce his decision on the 2015 Paris agreement later.

"As other countries invest in advanced technologies and move forward with the Paris Agreement, we believe the United States can best exercise global leadership and advance U.S. interests by remaining a full partner in this vital global effort", the letter read. Virtually every nation voluntarily committed to steps aimed at curbing global emissions of "greenhouse" gases.

The the world's second largest emitter of carbon, following only China.

Will the US stay or will it go?

The accord aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from burning of fossil fuels.

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Former President Barack Obama promised to cut greenhouse gasses 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and commit $3 billion in aid to poorer countries.

Environmental groups criticized the planned withdrawal.

Mr Trump is expected to announce in coming days he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement.

White House talking points obtained by The Associated Press said the Paris accord was "a BAD deal for Americans" and that the president's action would keep "his campaign promise to put American workers first".

Musk, the billionaire business magnate CEO of electric carmaker Tesla and aerospace company SpaceX, is on Trump's manufacturing jobs council, his strategic and policy forum and his infrastructure council. Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corp [MUYEY.UL], an Ohio-based coal company and major Trump campaign donor, urged Trump to withdraw.

On the USA side, Obama transferred $1 billion out of an initial $3 billion commitment to the United Nations Green Climate Fund before leaving office. But the targets were voluntary, meaning the USA and the almost 200 other nations in the agreement could alter their commitments.

While traveling overseas last week, Trump was repeatedly pressed to stay in the deal by European leaders and the pope. This may even isolate the USA from its allies as well as most parts of the world.

Former President Barack Obama signed the global deal past year, committing the a significant reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. That promise helped rally supporters sharing his skepticism of global efforts to police USA carbon emissions.

But Trump has insisted that the accord costs the USA economy trillions of dollars and thousands of jobs, while producing few tangible benefits.

Pope Francis and several world leaders have also pressured Trump to ensure his permanence in the Paris deal.