Official says Trump expected to pull US from Paris deal

Official says Trump expected to pull US from Paris deal

As news emerged Wednesday that Trump planned to quit the Paris deal, business leaders and foreign heads-of-state began castigating the decision as a woeful abandonment of USA leadership.

Trump claimed before taking office that climate change was a "hoax" created by the Chinese to hurt the USA economy, an assertion that stands in defiance of broad scientific consensus.

White House aides have been divided on the question of staying or leaving the accord and had been deliberating on "caveats in the language" as late as Wednesday, one official said.

And on his final season of the NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice", which aired months before he announced his 2016 candidacy, Trump suggested that cold weather in NY proved climate change was wrong.

The possibility Mr Trump - who has previously described climate change as a hoax by the Chinese - could pull out within days was labelled disastrous and as putting the United States on "the wrong side of history" in some quarters.

Trump is expected to pull the US from the pact, a White House official said Wednesday, though there could be "caveats in the language" announcing a withdrawal, leaving open the possibility that his decision isn't final.

Under former President Barack Obama, the US had agreed under the accord to reduce polluting emissions by more than a quarter below 2005 levels by 2025.

Referring to the Paris deal as a "massive redistribution of United States wealth" to other countries, the president made the case that the deal fundamentally disadvantages the US economically, relative to other countries.

Under Trump, who once called climate change a "hoax", the country has resisted intense pressure from its partners to commit to respecting the global accord.

The agreement, formally known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, focuses on ways to reduce greenhouse gases emissions.

Based on voluntary pledges by countries so far, the planet is on track for warming of about three degrees, many scientists say - a recipe for catastrophic floods, storms, drought and sea-level rise. Former President Barack Obama had agreed to reduce the country's emissions to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025 - about 1.6 billion tons.

So was opposition from environmental groups.

Pulling out of the agreement outright would take three-and-a-half years under the standard cooling-off period for new worldwide treaties. "I promised I would exit or renegotiate any deal which fails to serve America's interests".

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Worldwide leaders began reacting to the reports of Trump's plans.

A White House official says Trump's expected to withdraw the United States from the landmark agreement.

He added: "The world is in a mess".

"The United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris Accord or really an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States", the president said in the Rose Garden.

"We need political leadership", he said.

In an earlier tweet, he said: "Don't know which way Paris will go, but I've done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in WH & via councils, that we remain".

Though it remains the largest global carbon emitter, China also leads the world in total installed solar and wind capacity.

Trump has already moved to dismantle Obama-era climate change regulations, including the U.S. Clean Power Plan aimed at reducing emissions from main coal-fired power plants.

"The increasing impacts of climate change require a decisive response".

A US pullout would be disappointing but the European Union stands ready to take global leadership on the issue, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said in Brussels. A source told Reuters that India had also indicated it would stick by the deal.

The White House said the USA will stop contributing to the United Nations Green Climate Fund and will stop reporting carbon data as required by the Paris accord, although domestic regulations require that reporting anyway. By contrast, Trump wants to favor USA coal.

Rajoy and Modi agreed to boost bilateral cooperation in the field of combating climate change.

Despite negotiators taking decades to reach a deal the world could sign up to, Trump said he wanted to start again to come up with something "much better". FirstSolar fell more than 3 percent.

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