Trump ‘poised to quit Paris climate deal’

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The Paris agreement is meant to reduce carbon emissions

US President Donald Trump is poised to pull the country out of the Paris climate accord, US media report, quoting senior officials.

The 2015 accord for the first time united most of the world in a single agreement to fight climate change.

It was signed by 195 countries out of 197 in a UN group on climate change, with Syria and Nicaragua abstaining.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Mr Trump said he would announce his decision within the “next few days”.

  • What is climate change?
  • Climate deal is essential, says UN chief

What was agreed in Paris?

Adopting a roadmap for speeding up progress, the countries agreed to:

  • Keep global temperatures “well below” 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and “endeavour to limit” them even more, to 1.5C
  • Limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100
  • Review each country’s contribution to cutting emissions every five years so they scale up to the challenge
  • Enable rich countries to help poorer nations by providing “climate finance” to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy

To date, 147 out of the 197 countries have ratified the accord, including the US, where the accord entered force last November.

Why does Trump object?

The president has called climate change a “hoax” on occasion.

His supporters also argue that the accord restricts America’s ability to do what it wants with its energy resources – an important sector of the economy.

Can the US leave just like that?

It remains unclear when or how the administration plans to pull out of the climate agreement, the BBC’s Paul Rincon writes.

A four-year period is required to quit the Paris deal but by pulling out of the UN’s climate body – the UNFCCC – the US could extricate itself in one year.

However, this would represent a significant move: the US signed up to the convention in 1992, under then President George H W Bush.

What has the reaction been?

A top EU official said Europe was ready to assume leadership on combating climate change.

“If they decide to pull out it would be disappointing but I really do not think this would change the course of mankind,” European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

“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.”

German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said: “Like you I’ve seen the reports but I don’t have any information beyond that.

“So I can only reiterate the well-known position that the German government unequivocally supports the Paris climate agreement and is campaigning for it to be quickly implemented and hopes the USA remains committed to this agreement.”

In the US, Ed Markey, a Democratic senator, tweeted: “Pulling out of #ParisAgreement is a massive moral, economic leadership failure for Trump admin. Loss of business, jobs, intl standing.”

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