Wednesday, 28 June, 2017

Trump, EPA chief meet ahead of decision on climate change

What happens to Earth if the US exits the climate deal Climate change: 84% of Britons want Theresa May to have a word with Donald Trump
Erik Tate | 08 June, 2017, 06:18

President Donald Trump said Wednesday his decision will be known "very soon", adding that he is "hearing from a lot of people both ways".

He said the deal would have cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Even without the deal, Americans are emitting less carbon into the atmosphere.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

He is due to decide the USA stance soon. Germany's environment minister told reporters Friday "there will be no new deal with the United States" on climate change and predicted global climate will "survive" Trump's maximum presidential term of eight years.

"Generations from now, Americans will look back at Donald Trump's decision to leave the Paris Agreement as one of the most ignorant and unsafe actions ever taken by any president", Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said in a statement.

Sweden's United Nations ambassador says a US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement would be "a disappointment to the rest of the world" and would hurt American interests.

Meanwhile, African nations are protesting Trump's decision. US inaction on greenhouse gases may eventually discourage other countries from continuing their own efforts to cut back, said Oppenheimer at Princeton.

In announcing his decision, Trump said he was "elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris".

Trump's message appeared to preface further acrimony between himself and Merkel, the most powerful politician in Europe and, increasingly, the most vocal Trump foil on the continent.

The White House indicated it would follow the lengthy exit process outlined in the deal.

Almost every country has signed on to the Paris Agreement, and a majority have ratified it.

He is breaking from many of America's staunchest allies, who have expressed alarm about the decision. Several of his top aides have opposed the action, too, as has his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump.

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

Apple unveils HomePod speaker at WWDC 2017
Later Monday, it's expected to announce an internet-connected smart speaker to compete with Amazon's Echo and Google's Home . The research firm IDC says Apple and Xiaomi each has a worldwide market share of almost 15 percent in the first quarter.

The emissions goals that each country sets under the Paris agreement are voluntary, and there is no penalty for failing to meet them.

Responding to Trump's pointing to his city, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto called the decision "disastrous for our planet, for cities such as Pittsburgh", and a step that "has made America weaker and the world less safe".

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".

The immediate impact of Trump's move could be largely symbolic.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said it was "absolutely essential" that the Paris climate agreement be implemented.

Abandoning the pact would isolate the US from a raft of worldwide allies who spent years negotiating the 2015 agreement to fight global warming and pollution by reducing carbon emissions.

If Trump won't listen to the tech industry, which in large part is driving the nation's economy, he should especially take note that powerful energy companies such as BP, Chevron, Exxon and Shell are also urging the president to sign on to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Congressional Republicans applauded the decision, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky saying Trump had "put families and jobs ahead of left-wing ideology and should be commended".

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu). In this photo taken May 30, 2016, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks in San Francisco.

He went on to say he did not believe the USA should pull out of the Paris agreement. And the final decision may not be entirely clear-cut: Aides were still deliberating on "caveats in the language", one official said.

Investors seemed pleased, with stock prices, already up for the day, bumping higher as he spoke.

Trump's chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, has discussed the possibility of changing the USA carbon reduction targets instead of pulling out of the deal completely.

Around the world, coal-fired power plants are being shuttered as governments and private companies invest billions in wind turbines and solar farms.


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