Trump plans to pull US out of climate deal: Source

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump plans to follow through on a campaign pledge to pull the United States out of a global pact to fight climate change, a source briefed on the decision said, a move that promises to deepen a rift with US allies.
White House officials cautioned that details were still being hammered out and that, although close, the decision on withdrawing from the international accord — agreed to by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015 — was not finalised.
Trump, who has previously called global warming a hoax, did not confirm the decision in a post on Twitter, saying only, “I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days.”
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Trump was working out the terms of the planned withdrawal with US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, an oil industry ally and climate change sceptic.
“The president will make an announcement when he’s made a final decision,” one senior official said. Trump has changed his mind on large decisions before, even after previously signalling a move in the opposite direction.
Trump refused to endorse the landmark climate change accord at a summit of the G7 group of wealthy nations on Saturday, saying he needed more time to decide.
A US decision to withdraw from the accord could further alienate American allies in Europe already wary of Trump and call into question US leadership and trustworthiness on one of the world’s leading issues. A pullout also would be one more step by the Republican president to erase the legacy of his predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama, who helped broker the accord and praised it during a trip to Europe this month.
A withdrawal would put the United States in league with Syria and Nicaragua as the world’s only non-participants in the Paris agreement.
It could have sweeping implications for the deal, which relies heavily on the commitment of big polluter nations to reduce emissions of gases scientists blame for sea level rise, droughts and more frequent violent storms.
The United States is the world’s second-biggest carbon dioxide emitter behind China.
The accord aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Under the pact, the United States is committed to reduce its emissions by 26 to 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2025.
Environmental groups derided the Trump administration’s reported decision. The Sierra Club said a US withdrawal from the Paris deal would be a “historic mistake.” Friends of the Earth said it would make America the world’s “foremost climate villain.”
International leaders began reacting to the reports of Trump’s plans. A withdrawal by the United States 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.
“There is a much stronger expectation from our partners across the world, from Africa, Asia and China, that Europe should assume leadership in this effort and we are ready to do that,” Sefcovic added.
— Reuters