Trump reveals US' plans to exit Paris climate deal to 'confidants'

Pauline Gross
May 30, 2017

With President Trump set to make a decision this week about whether the US should remain part of the landmark Paris climate accord, Defense Secretary James Mattis said Trump remains "wide open" on the issue.

Trump is the only G7 leader not to have pledged his commitment to the deal, tweeting on May 27: "I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!" He had previously threatened to pull out. When he made major gaffes at the start of his trip, including telling Israel's president that he had just left the Middle East after his first stop in Saudi Arabia, a White House aide chalked it up to exhaustion. According to three sources with "direct knowledge", Trump has told "multiple people. including EPA head Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave the Paris agreement on climate change", reports Axios.

Graham added a refusal by Trump to commit to the Paris climate deal would suggest he had not moved past his previous assertion that climate change was a hoax.

The senator said during an interview with CNN's State of the Union on Sunday that it would be an issue for the USA if Trump did not reaffirm the country's previous commitment to the accord, made under former president Barack Obama in 2015. But it's now unclear whether the meetings will still take place if the commander in chief has already made up his mind. The position makes the United States the lone holdout on endorsing the agreement during the G7 summit in Italy.

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But there was little public evidence of prodding by Trump or his aides of either side to make more substantial concessions. Former President Barack Obama's note - written when he was first running for president - was much longer.

But now there is a new story out, and whether it is true or not is uncertain and I feel that putting it in a headline would be wrong, but one website is saying that they were told by White House "confidants" of the president that he is indeed planning to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement, reports The Hill.

What is the Paris accord?

The Paris deal is the world's first comprehensive climate agreement, set out in 2015, with the aim of keeping the global average rise in temperatures below 2C. And to ensure that happens, countries have committed to reducing their carbon emissions.

But it came into force only after being ratified by 55 countries, which between them produce 55% of global carbon emissions.

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