Trump expected to pull the United States from Paris Climate Agreement

The closing ceremony of COP21 in Paris. (United Nations/flickr)
Jake Slobe | May 31, 2017

President Trump is expected to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, said three officials with knowledge of the decision, making good on a campaign pledge but severely weakening the landmark 2015 climate change accord that committed nearly every nation to take action to curb the emission of greenhouse gases.

A senior White House official cautioned that the specific language of the president’s expected announcement was still in flux. The official said the withdrawal might be accompanied by legal caveats that could shape the impact of Mr. Trump’s decision.

Trump is set to meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Wednesday afternoon, who has advocated that the United States remain a part of the Paris accords and could possibly continue to lobby the president to change his mind.

Advisers pressing him to remain in the accord could still make their case. In the past, such appeals have worked. In April, Trump was set to announce a withdrawal from the Nafta free trade agreement, but at the last minute changed his mind after intense discussions with advisers and calls from the leaders of Canada and Mexico.

The United States is the world’s largest economy and second-largest greenhouse gas polluter. An exit by the U.S. would not dissolve the 195-nation pact, which was legally ratified last year, but could set off events that would have profound effects on the planet. Other countries that reluctantly joined the agreement could now withdraw or soften their commitments to cutting planet-warming pollution.

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