Published: Fri, June 02, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Vern Buchanan wants Donald Trump to keep U.S. in Paris climate accord

Vern Buchanan wants Donald Trump to keep U.S. in Paris climate accord

President Donald Trump waits for the arrival of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

President Donald Trump said Thursday he was withdrawing the US from the Paris climate agreement, striking a major blow to worldwide efforts to combat climate change and distancing the country from many allies overseas.

As Trump mulls his decision, the White House offered few signs Tuesday that Trump was planning to soften his view of climate change.

A source who has been in contact with people involved in the decision told Reuters a couple of meetings were planned with chief executives of energy companies and big corporations and others about the climate agreement ahead of Trump's expected announcement later in the week.

President Donald Trump walks to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 1, 2017, after speaking in the Rose Garden about the United States role in the Paris climate change accord.

As a first step, Guterres said he would press for ratification of an agreement reached previous year on phasing out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Although Trump said this past weekend that he was still considering whether to remain in the pact, Axios reported this weekend that it's already a done deal.

In his conversations with foreign leaders last week, Trump offered no final decision, saying he would take his counterparts' arguments into account.

At the conclusion of his talks in Sicily, Trump declined to sign onto a pledge by all the other leaders to uphold the Paris carbon reduction commitments. It uses a scenario where USA emissions flatten through the century, while Climate Interactive has them rising. A White House official said the couple instead attended service at synagogue for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. And the final decision may not be entirely clear-cut: Aides were still deliberating on "caveats in the language", one official said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said it is "absolutely essential" that the world unite to combat the threat from climate change. Calculations suggest withdrawal could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide in the air a year - enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather.

The president tweeted Wednesday that he would make his decision soon. The administration is reportedly still deciding how it will exit the agreement.

Unfortunately, after having spent a week in close quarters with both individuals on his first worldwide trip, their pro-Paris agreement stances appear to have had no effect. The CEO of SpaceX, Musk has said further delay in adopting policies to mitigate climate change would cause more "destruction than all the wars in history combined".

On Tuesday, Modi said in Berlin that it would be a "crime" to spoil the environment for future generations as the world awaits a decision on US climate policy.

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

"This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States", Trump said. Meyer wrote. "If the USA stays in, Rex Tillerson's State Department will retain a veto power in these talks". A computer simulation predicted that if the US does not curb emissions, while the other nations stay true to the Paris Agreement, then America would increase global warming by 0.3 degree.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who had urged Trump to stay in the Paris deal, did not attend the ceremony, nor did Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, both close advisers to the president who supported staying in the agreement.

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