Trump set to pull US out of Paris Climate Agreement

According to reports in the US, President Trump has already made up his mind on the issue

Trump set to pull US out of Paris Climate Agreement

US President Donald Trump listens during a joint press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the White House in Washington DC | Image: Sipa USA/SIPA USA/PA Images

Donald Trump has decided to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Accord, according to reports.

The historic agreement was adopted by 195 countries in December 2015.

US news website Axios, based on two sources with direct knowledge of the decision, has reported that the US president has already made up his mind to pull out of the agreement.

This afternoon, he tweeted to say he would make his decisions known "over the next few days:"

His decision to pull out has also been reported by ABC News, quoting a senior White House official.

The official told the news network that "no decision is final until the president announces it" - however the White House is now working on options for America's withdrawal.

Details of how the withdrawal is to be executed are currently under consideration by a small team led by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

The two options under consideration include a full, formal withdrawal – which could take three years – or an exit of the underlying United Nations climate change treaty – which would be faster but is viewed as the more extreme course of action.

Last Saturday President Trump announced his plans to make a final decision on the agreement by this week: 

It comes after the UN Secretary General yesterday warned world leaders to take action on climate change or face the consequences.

He said it is absolutely essential the Paris agreement be implemented adding, “the message is simple; the sustainability train has left the station, get on board or get left behind.”

“The science is beyond doubt,” he said. “An intergovernmental panel on climate change has put it – and I quote – ‘human influence on the climate system is clear, the more we disrupt our climate the more we risk severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts.”

Refusal to commit

However, President Trump refused to commit to the historic deal when meeting with G7 leaders in Sicily over the weekend.

His G7 colleagues, who had hoped to put out a statement of consensus on the Paris Agreement, expressed their frustration at his stance, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel declaring: "We have a situation where six - or if you also include the EU, seven - are against one."

The decision will put the United States in league with Syria and Nicaragua as the world's only non-participants in the Paris Climate Agreement.

The US is the world's second-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide behind China. Under the deal, the country had committed to cutting its emissions by 26% to 28% of its 2005 levels by 2025.

President Trump has long questioned the reality of climate change calling it a “hoax” during his campaign for the Oval Office and suggesting the Chinese came up with concept. 

During the campaign he pledged to "cancel" the accord within 100 days of becoming president to boost America's coal and oil industries.

America's withdrawal could have sweeping implications on the pact which relies heavily on the commitment of big polluter nations to reduce gas emissions, which are responsible for rising sea levels, droughts and more frequent, violent storms.

The move could also lead to other nations weakening or stepping back from their pledges under the pact.

More than 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is caused by human activity.

Carbon dioxide levels have risen from 280 ppm to 400 ppm in the last 150 years.

Additional reporting from IRN ...