EU, China to reaffirm support for climate pact

A White House official says President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.

The decision will put the USA in league with Syria and Nicaragua as the world's only non-participants in the Paris Climate Agreement - brokered by Mr Trump's predecessor Barack Obama in 2015.

He had promised during his presidential campaign to pull the U.S. out of the deal. The pact became one of President Barack Obama's signature achievements.

Guterres too has said that he has been attempting to negotiate with the Trump administration to persuade it not to pull the plug on the accord.

It was formally adopted following the ratification by a sufficient number of signatories and took effect in November, 2016. That's the upper limit scientists have set to keep climate change from hitting an irreversible tipping point, unleashing catastrophic floods, droughts and storms. Solar power employs more people in the US than coal. Presidents have unilaterally exited Senate-ratified treaties before, but it's rare and controversial. Supporters of the deal say it's not an either-or choice.

But anti-Paris voices, led by chief strategist Steve Bannon and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, appeared to win out.

And then, of course, there's the argument advanced by candidate Trump.

The U.S. could stay in the agreement and work toward fulfilling its pledges. China generates about 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, compared to about 13 percent in the U.S.

On previous occasions, President Trump has described climate change as a "hoax" created by China and has vowed to invest in domestic coal and oil, industries that have largely contributed to increased greenhouse gas emissions. And he's already overturned several Obama-era efforts to reduce emissions. It was negotiated by 195 countries at a conference in 2015. They also signed a multitude of business deals.

The main aim of the Paris accord is to keep in control the warming of planet to below 2 degrees Celsius above the temperatures of the pre-industrial period of late 1800s.

Sea levels are rising.

And the agreement relies on voluntary cuts in emissions, which is seen by some critics as a major weakness.

During a trip to Europe this week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed India's commitment to fighting climate change and said it would be a "crime" to spoil the environment for future generations.

EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Canete said the world could count on European climate leadership. Nicaragua and Syria are among the only countries that have not signed the agreement. But three-quarters of the countries on earth have fully committed to the accord.

It's important to note that the Paris accord is only as strong as each nation's actual reduction in emissions. A letter from 22 GOP senators released on Thursday, advocating for a clean exit from the agreement, is speculated to have made some impact on the president's decision to initiate talks to withdraw.

Johnson told Sky News that Britain still wants the take the lead in fighting climate change and called on individual usa states to keep making progress on that front.

"Donald Trump has made a historic mistake which our grandchildren will look back on with stunned dismay at how a world leader could be so divorced from reality and morality", he said in a statement.

The White House has offered no on-the-record guidance on the president's schedule over the next few days, and even the background guidance is unspecific, so its hard to know whom he'll be speaking to or even where he will be physically. The market reaction reflects concerns, raised by some coal companies in recent months, that a US exit from the Paris agreement could unleash a global backlash against coal interests.

And Sweden's Climate Minister Isabella Lovin says "it would be deeply regrettable" if the United States decides to pull out of a landmark global climate agreement, adding "it is also contrary to what we expect from the USA leadership when humanity faces major challenges".

It's not just a question of intangible moral leadership, or even of the potential profits from green energy that would be on the table.

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