President Donald Trump - flanked by Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson - is reportedly set to ditch the Paris climate agreement.
President Donald Trump - flanked by Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson - is reportedly set to ditch the Paris climate agreement. Andrew Harnik

Trump ready to dump Paris climate deal

DONALD Trump is about to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement on climate change, White House sources have claimed.

The US is currently one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the world, so if President Trump did pull the country out the landmark pact to reduce emissions it would be a major blow to a deal that hopes to avert the worst effects of climate change.

Following a number of reports in US media about the move, Mr Trump tweeted that he would be announcing "my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days” followed by his campaign slogan "Make America great again!”.

The Axios news website said the sources had "direct knowledge of the decision” made by the President, who has described global warming as a hoax perpetrated by China - also a large polluter.

As President, Mr Trump can withdraw from Paris on his own. The reason it was called an "agreement'” was to enable Barack Obama to use the president's executive power to ratify it without having to seek the permission of the Republican-controlled Congress, which must ratify any international treaties.

The US delegation had to negotiate for hours over complicated legal language the day the agreement was signed in December 2015.

Part of the issue was that other countries were very concerned about the situation the world is in now: a post- Obama administration catering to climate deniers in the US Congress that would be able to legally withdraw.

The decision to withdraw was influenced by a letter from 22 Republican US senators calling for an exit, Axios reported.

Mr Trump has ignored the advice of senior advisers, including daughter Ivanka Trump, Defence Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Mr Mattis and others in Defence note the Pentagon does a substantial amount of work addressing rising sea levels, changing sea routes for warships as a result of melting ice and the effects of drought and floods on US national security interests.

The Trump administration must now decide to begin the three-year withdrawal stipulated by the agreement or ditch the underlying United Nations treaty, which would speed up the process.

Nicaragua and Syria are the only non-participants.

Canada, the European Union and China have said they will honour their commitments to the pact even if the United States withdraws.

A source told Reuters that India had also indicated it would stick by the deal.



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