Donald Trump is poised to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, according to multiple reports, in a move that would profoundly weaken the historic agreement by nearly 200 countries to slow down global warming.
Trump tweeted late on Wednesday that he would announce his final decision at 3pm ET on Thursday in the White House rose garden. It followed a wave of reports that he was about to exit from the deal. The reports follow his refusal to express support for global efforts to combat climate change at a G7 summit with European leaders last week.
Should the US exit from the Paris agreement, which was negotiated and endorsed under Barack Obama, the country would join only Syria and Nicaragua as non-participants. The US had previously committed to a goal of reducing carbon emissions by 26-28% by 2025.
Asked whether he has been hearing from CEOs and others trying to persuade him on the climate agreement, Trump said: “I’m hearing from a lot of people, both ways. Both ways.”
Shortly before, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said he did not know if Trump has already made up his mind after listening to industry leaders and foreign leaders. “He’s had a lot of input and ultimately he’ll make the decision,” he said during an off-camera briefing that lasted only 12 minutes.
Asked about entrepreneur Elon Musk’s threat to leave White House advisory councils if the US withdraws from the deal, Spicer said: “Let’s wait and see what the president’s decision is. I don’t want to get ahead of it.”
The US ranks as the world’s second-largest carbon polluter, and initial estimates by universities and thinktanks suggest its withdrawal would add up to 3 billion tonnes of extra carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year, raising the global temperature by 0.1-0.3C by the end of the century.