Published: Wed, May 31, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

We don't know what Trump has decided on Paris climate deal-Germany

We don't know what Trump has decided on Paris climate deal-Germany

May 31 The German government does not know what U.S. President Donald Trump has decided on the Paris climate agreement, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Minutes later Mr Trump tweeted that he would be "announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days", adding: "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

The Paris deal is the world's first comprehensive climate agreement, with the aim of keeping the global average rise in temperatures below 2C. Here's a rundown of what the deal actually is, why Mr. Trump opposes it and what effects the US pulling out would have.

There have been influential voices urging Trump not to ditch the Paris accord.

The Paris climate accord, known as the "Paris Agreement" by the United Nations, is an worldwide agreement reached in 2015 aimed at reducing carbon emissions, slowing rising global temperatures and helping countries deal with the effects of climate change.

The agreement attempts to curb global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

In order to do that, countries pledge to reduce their carbon emissions.

Under the deal, Mr Obama committed the U.S. to cutting its emissions by between 26% and 28% from 2005 levels by 2025.

The Paris agreement's commitment to curb carbon emissions and limit temperature rise to well below 2 degrees and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees "do not almost go far enough", he said.

World leaders, who had hoped to put out a statement of consensus on the Paris Agreement, expressed their frustration, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel declaring: "We have a situation where six, or if you also include the European Union seven, are against one". Climate change is unstoppable. Trump is meeting Wednesday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who believes the USA should stay in, to keep its place at the worldwide bargaining table.

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For all its symbolic importance, the decision may have little practical effect on USA carbon emissions. So the withdrawal would not actually take effect until November 2020, shortly after the next presidential election.

However even after the agreement was signed Mr Obama warned it was too little, too late.

Republicans argue there could be legal risks to Trump's agenda should he stay in the Paris agreement. "Only Syria and Nicaragua are not part of the 197-country agreement, which lays out voluntary goals for reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions".

Trump, who has called global warming a "hoax", promised during his presidential campaign to pull the USA out of the deal.

The president had previously dismissed climate change as a hoax and a scam.

The president vowed a year ago to "cancel" the Paris Agreement as president, but his administration has repeatedly delayed making a final decision on the matter.

On Tuesday, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer was asked directly at a press briefing whether the president believes that humans affect global warming. Former Exxon Mobil CEO and now-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been more open to addressing climate change and its consequences, and was set to meet Wednesday with Trump. The choice is between a formal withdrawal that could take three years or leaving the United Nations treaty that the accord is based on, which would be quicker but more extreme, according to Axios.

This has led several economists and large United States businesses to fret that the coming boom in solar, wind and other renewable energies will not take place in America.

What happens if the USA pulls out of the Paris Agreement?

On Tuesday, Modi said in Berlin that it would be a "crime" to spoil the environment for future generations as the world awaits a decision on US climate policy.

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