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Trump pulls US from Paris climate pact

02 June 2017

The Elders repeated their concern at the US Administration's decision not to provide climate finance to help developing countries to address climate change.

Trump's decision marked "a sad day for the global community", said Miguel Arias Canete, climate action commissioner for the European Union. The industry is in a long-term decline as it faces competition from cheaper natural gas and - increasingly - wind and solar. Europe, China, and other countries could threaten to withhold cooperation on other issues the U.S. cares about. "We encourage all actors in the United States working to tackle climate change to stand their ground, share the benefits of their work and to keep making their voices heard".

The Paris deal isn't enough on its own to keep global warming below the widely agreed-upon threshold of 2 degrees Celsius, but it is the most universal deal covering global greenhouse gasses yet.

Under former President Barack Obama, the US had agreed to reduce emissions to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025 - about 1.6 billion tons.

Even under these rules, it would have been a stretch for the U.S.to meet its Paris "contribution"; without them, meeting the contribution has become, for all intents and purposes, impossible.

USA has already reduced its carbon-dioxide emissions 12 percent since 2006.

Trump's influential daughter Ivanka Trump's preference is to stay, but she has made it a priority to establish a review process so her father would hear from all sides, said a senior administration official. Germany also released a joint statement with France and Italy saying the Paris climate agreement can not be renegotiated, despite Trump wanting to re-enter it "on better terms". "Industry must lead now lead and not depend on government", Immelt said on Twitter during Trump's speech.

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Since taking office on January 20, Mr Trump, who has called climate change a "hoax", has sent contradictory signals on the Paris deal.

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The consequences of this division, deepened by Trump's latest move, further delay any semblance of a pro-growth economic agenda, including making critically-needed infrastructure investments, providing tax relief to the middle class, and fixing the broken health care market which costs American households tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Trump has also complained about the United States committing to doing more and paying more when "China, Russia and India have contributed, and will contribute, nothing". New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the decision "irresponsible", and announced he'd be signing an Executive Order "confirming New York's leadership role in protecting our citizens, our environment, and our planet". U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres is counting on that and argues there are economic benefits to this. But the sad fact is that the US has never been a leader in addressing climate change; this is one of the main reasons that the Paris accord is so weak. But in bucking that broad public opinion, Trump is playing to his base.

A Washington Post poll in January found just 31 percent of those surveyed supported withdrawing from the Paris deal, while 56 percent were opposed.

In his announcement, Trump said he feels a duty to represent Americans in pulling out of the agreement.

Republicans and conservative groups immediately cheered the decision. "Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world". Leaving that would mean abandoning all global cooperative efforts on climate change. "Everybody who respects him, trusts him, voted for him, wishes for him to succeed, wants him to pull out".

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Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Mr Trump characterised the Paris agreement as a deal that aimed to hobble, disadvantage and impoverish the US. One big outlay is the Green Climate Fund set up under the deal.

Trump's move could still give some countries the political cover to scale back their efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, says Niklas Höhne, a founding partner at the New Climate Institute in Cologne, Germany.

Obama enacted the deal without US Senate ratification. "It'd be very, very expensive", Oklahoma Sen. Climate change is real.

After the announcement Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk followed through on his threat to leave the White House advisory councils he had been serving on.

In a letter sent hours before Trump was due to announce on Thursday whether the USA would pull out of the accord, the five leaders say the effects of global warming are already visible in all parts of our planet.

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Trump pulls US from Paris climate pact