Published: Tue, May 09, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Trump administration delays Paris climate agreement decision

Chinese President Xi Jinping told French President-elect Emmanuel Macron in a phone call on Tuesday that he would uphold the Paris Agreement on curbing climate change.

Michael Traut, a researcher at the Tyndall Center for Climate Change in the United Kingdom told IRIN, a former U.N. news agency, that leaving the Paris deal might be better than lowering commitments.

"If the USA pulls out, it will be a pariah", said Andrew Light, a climate adviser at the World Resources Institute.

Macron won a landslide victory against nationalist Marine Le Pen in Sunday's election, and promised to reform the country's labor laws and double-down on promises to fight global warming.

China, the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases, and France should "protect the global governance achievements contained within the Paris Agreement on climate change", Xi told Macron, the Chinese foreign ministry said. "It was the first time they spoke together".

White House press secretary said Tuesday that a decision on whether the USA will withdrawal from the Paris climate accord will not come before the G-7 summit in Italy next month.

Mr Trump, as a candidate, threatened to "cancel" the deal, but since taking office has said he is studying it and plans a final decision soon.

That meeting was postponed at the last minute because Secretary of State Rex Tillerson could not be there.

"There is the risk of rendering the Paris Agreement nearly meaningless [with diminished commitments]", he said.

Still, senior administration officials are divided over whether the US should stay in the agreement.

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