Published: Tue, May 09, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

UN Climate Talks Kick Off as US Mulls Withdrawal from Paris Deal


While the United States is sending a "small delegation" to Germany this week, most people's focus will be on the expected announcement by the Trump administration on Tuesday as to how the nation will proceed with the historic agreement. President Trump's daughter Ivanka and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, are likely to take part, according to reports. "The Paris treaty undermines American democracy and allows foreign bureaucrats to determine the direction of USA domestic economic and energy policy".

That view has also been supported by some of America's biggest corporations.

The Trump administration has already proposed slashing funds for the United Nations climate science panel, for the Green Climate Fund that helps poor countries combat global warming, and for the UNFCCC itself.

The Paris accord calls for limiting the global average temperature increase since the industrial revolution to 2 degrees Celsius or less - a goal that has been called ambitious.

Senior State Department environmental official David Balton said "the question of the U.S. view of the Paris Agreement is still under consideration within the USA government".

In the letter, the groups wrote that some officials in the president's administration "are relying on recent statements from former Obama administration officials that the US can withdraw its [previous commitment under the accord] and submit a new [target] that makes far less ambitious commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions".

A United States withdrawal would seriously undermine global efforts to limit carbon emissions, which the vast majority of experts say are changing the climate in unsafe ways.

Trump called climate change a "hoax" perpetrated by China, and promised to "cancel" the deal as president.

OPEC, non-OPEC see need to extend supply-cut pact: Saudi governor
PetroChina, China's biggest oil producer, lost 2.4 percent, and Sinopec, the country's largest refiner, fell 2.8 percent. Lower oil prices are normally good news at the pumps but the rand has been affected by the slump in prices.

Paris was a "finely balanced agreement", said a delegate from Iran. "U.S. companies are well positioned to lead in these markets".

"Obviously we want the U.S. to stay in the Paris Agreement, for its own good as well as for the rest of the world".

"The treaty is based on the idea that from now on developed nations like the US must live with less and pay more". As a candidate for the White House in 2016, he had threatened to pull the United States out of the Paris accord if elected.

Global diplomats will meet in Bonn, Germany on Monday to hold United Nations Climate talks as U.S. officials are set to meet in Washington on Tuesday to address whether to pull out of the Paris global emissions-cutting deal. Therefore, if the US doesn't hit its promise to the world under Obama, global emissions will keep growing to 2030 at least (assuming other nations do not pitch in with far deeper cuts than proposed so far, deep enough to offset the U.S.'s failure to contribute).

In reality, the agreement was built off of individual commitments by participating countries, giving each country the autonomy to decide how best to reduce its carbon emissions.

In a string of heated West Wing gatherings, aides have aired deep differences over the climate agreement, which President Barack Obama's administration brokered and which every nation except Syria and Nicaragua has signed onto. "If the United States doesn't follow through on its commitment, it will shift more of the burden of climate action to those countries who have polluted the least".

This group of advisors, said to include chief strategist Steve Bannon and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, argue that if the president tries to lower USA targets for cutting emissions while still in the deal, he could be sued by green groups.

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