White House official: Trump plans to pull US from Paris deal

Terrell Bush
June 2, 2017

Trump, who wants to promote US coal industry and U.S.jobs, has resisted calls by many allies to stay in the Paris agreement, which aims to shifting the global economy from fossil fuels to cleaner energy.

Word of Trump's expected decision came a day after the president met with Pruitt.

That's what the top House Democrat is calling President Donald Trump's expected decision to pull the US from a historic climate agreement. Pruitt has been a proponent of withdrawing from the accord.

Spicer says Trump ultimately "wants a fair deal for the American people".

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy joined to "note with regret" the Trump decision and express doubts about any change in the accord.

"This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States", Trump said.

But there are virtually no signs he plans to remain in the agreement as it now stands. Top White House aides have been divided.

"We are concerned but we (have) made a decision to implement. and we will join forces with other parties, especially with China, to develop further cooperation on climate and energy", Canete said in an interview during a trip to Denmark.

Everyone cautioned that no decision was final until Trump announced it. Officials have laid out several options for him to decide between, including triggering a years-long withdraw process or putting the matter up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.

The official insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the decision before the official announcement.

In talks with his foreign counterparts, the President kept an open mind on climate issues, according to his aides.

"He's pulling out. It's official", said Stephen Moore, an economist who worked for Trump's campaign and participated in an administration conference call.

At the conclusion of his talks in Sicily, Trump declined to sign onto a pledge by all the other leaders to uphold the Paris carbon reduction commitments. Withdrawing would leave the United States aligned only with Russian Federation among the world's industrialized economies in rejecting action to combat climate change.

"But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I'm confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we've got", Obama added. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Trump at length about the issue during a meeting in Brussels, and even at the Vatican, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin made his own pro-Paris pitch to Trump and his advisers. However, under the terms of the Paris deal, withdrawal can't begin until November 2019, three years after the agreement took effect.

Alternatively, the president could pursue a faster course by dropping out of an underlying treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"The entire discussion about climate was very hard, if not to say very dissatisfying", Merkel said after the session. "There is no sanction under the Paris agreement".

Later, during a campaign stop, Merkel escalated her barbs against Trump, suggesting the US was no longer a reliable ally for Germany. If they don't we have to increase the level of ambition.

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

Leaving the deal would fulfill a central campaign pledge, but would anger worldwide allies who spent years in hard negotiations that produced an accord to reduce carbon emissions. But the national targets are voluntary, leaving room for the USA and the almost 200 other countries in the agreement to alter their commitments.

Some of Mr Trump's aides have been searching for a middle ground, perhaps by renegotiating the terms of the agreement, in an effort to thread the needle between his base of supporters who oppose the deal and those warning that a USA exit would land a blow to the fight against global warming as well as to worldwide U.S. leadership.

But Cohn, Trump's chief White House economic adviser, told reporters during the trip overseas that the president's views on climate change were "evolving" following the discussions with European leaders.

"This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States", he said, claiming that other countries have laughed at the USA for agreeing to the terms". But the targets were voluntary, meaning the US and the almost 200 other nations in the agreement could alter their commitments. Lindsay Graham told CNN on Sunday that a withdraw "means that the leader of the Republican Party is in a different spot than the rest of the world". Chief strategist Steve Bannon supports an exit, as does Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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