Pressure piles on US President Donald Trump over climate deal

June 1, 2017 10:30 pm

President arrives for a family photo with African leaders after an expanded session during the G7 Summit, in Taormina, Sicily, May 27, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump has been under pressure not to pull his country out of a global pact to fight climate change known as the Paris Climate Agreement.
World countries and climate change activists expressed concern at the prospect of the withdrawing from the agreement under the presidency of Trump. His predecessor, former President Barack Obama, had signed the deal.
Trump has said he will announce his decision on whether or not he would pull the US out of the global deal later on Thursday.
“I will be announcing my decision on Paris Accord, Thursday at 3:00 P.M. The White House Rose Garden. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” the US president said in a tweet, punctuating the post with his campaign slogan.
With or without the US
Trump had refused to endorse the landmark climate change accord at a G7 summit in Sicily last week, saying he needed more time to decide.

World leaders gathered at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, where the terms of the Paris Agreement were agreed upon. (Wikimedia Commons)

Despite reports that the US is poised to scrap participation in the deal, other countries, including India, China, and the European Union (EU) member states have reaffirmed their commitment to combating global warming with the deal.
In a draft statement seen by BBC, China and the EU hailed the deal as a “historic achievement,” and highlighted the dangers posed by rising temperatures.
“The EU and China consider the Paris agreement as a historic achievement further accelerating the irreversible global low greenhouse gas emission and climate resilient development,” the draft document said.
“The Paris Agreement is proof that with shared political will and mutual trust, multilateralism can succeed in building fair and effective solutions to the most critical global problems of our time. The EU and China underline their highest political commitment to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement in all its aspects,” it said.
Both sides said they would step up action to “forge ahead with further policies and measures” to implement their national plans on cutting carbon emissions.
A senior EU official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “China and the EU… will implement the agreement,” and that, “The Paris Agreement will continue with full force of implementation even if the US pulls out.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks on climate change at the New York University Stern School of Business, in New York, May 30, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

In a meaningful tweet, the United Nations (UN) also said, “Climate change is undeniable. Climate action is unstoppable. Climate solutions provide opportunities that unmatchable.”
Trump and officials in his close circle have previously often questioned climate change despite scientific evidence of its existence.
In a speech in New York on Tuesday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made an appeal for the world to intensify action to fight climate change and implement the global deal.
The US is the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world and its withdrawal from the Paris agreement would be a blow to the accord, which was signed by nearly 200 countries in December 2015 to lower emissions.
The Paris Climate Agreement seeks to halt average global warming at no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures by 2050. It also sets out a goal of reaching a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible.
Under Trump, who once called climate change a “hoax” perpetrated by China, Washington has resisted intense pressure from its partners to commit to respecting the global accord.
The decision to pull out, if made, would be a significant break with nearly every other nation on earth and a major reversal of the Obama administration’s efforts on climate change.
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