nsucurrent.com May 23, 2018

Paris Agreement gives United States leverage over China, Obama's top economic advisor says

03 June 2017, 02:16 | Colleen Roy

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh). Protesters gather outside the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 1, 2017, to protest President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the Unites States from the Paris climate change accord.

Already, reports that Trump could withdraw the USA from the agreement were causing waves today.

President Donald Trump declared Thursday he was pulling the USA from the landmark Paris climate agreement, striking a major blow to worldwide efforts to combat global warming and distancing the country from its closest allies overseas.

Asked whether Trump planned to remove the United States from the Paris Accord or remain in, Spicer said: "When the president has a decision, he'll make that announcement and he'll make it clear what the basis of that is".

Trump added to the intense speculation about the future of the agreement today, tweeting that his decision will be announced "over the next few days".

While Trump now favours an exit, he has been known to change his thinking on major decisions and tends to seek counsel from a range of inside and outside advisers, many with differing agendas, until the last minute. Several of his top aides have opposed the action, too, as has his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump.

In a worst-case scenario, one group of scientists found that if the US doesn't curb its emissions, even if other countries met their Paris Agreement targets, America would contribute up to 0.3 C of warming to the planet by 2100; however, scientists were divided on how reasonable this outcome could be. He said that his decision was "a reassertion of America's sovereignty".

Guterres said in that speech that "it would be very important for the USA not to leave the Paris agreement".

Supporters of the climate pact are concerned that a USA exit could lead other nations to weaken their commitments or also withdraw, softening an accord that scientists have said is critical to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.

Top executives are lobbying for the White House to stay in the Paris Agreement.

It very likely will take place in Canada, around the same time as the United Nations General Assembly, which starts in New York City on September 12. Withdrawing would leave the United States aligned only with Russian Federation among the world's industrialized economies in rejecting action to combat climate change.

"If someone leaves a void, I guarantee someone will fill it", said Guterres, who went on to explain what consequences such an exit could have for the US. Major oil producers are also looking to the future and diversifying their economies and even Saudi Arabia has announced plans to install 700 megawatts of solar and wind power, he said.

The White House says it has not yet reached a final decision on Paris, and hundreds of corporations and world leaders are lobbying the United States to stay in the pact.

"The climate conversation should cease to be a shouting match", Guterres said.

"They're going to make their own decision, but we all need to be moving forward".

"While it may be hoped that the good work being done on U.S. emissions reductions by states, cities, businesses, and individuals will continue, the reduction of federal support for [research and development] on clean and efficient energy, the abandonment or weakening of federal regulations aimed at reducing emissions, and the (continuing) refusal to put a price on carbon emissions, despite the recommendations of leading Republicans from past administrations, will make it extremely hard to meet the emissions-reduction targets to which the United States committed itself in Paris", John Holdren, Obama's former science and technology adviser and now a professor at Harvard University, said in an email. Withdrawing would leave the United States aligned only with Russian Federation among the world's industrialized economies.

A senior European Union official said the EU and China would reaffirm their commitment to the pact regardless of what Trump did, and would spell out, during talks Friday in Brussels, how they would meet their obligations.

Guterres issued the warning after calling on world leaders to adhere to the agreement in his first major speech on climate change as secretary general.

"Many times I've made the argument that climate action actually creates jobs and creates growth, which is what the United States want, what Canada wants - it's what every country wants", she said.

"Disappointed by early reports that the USA will join Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries not party to the #ParisAgreement", tweeted Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who co-chairs the House Climate Solutions Caucus that includes 20 GOP and 20 Democratic lawmakers.

But House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California called it "a stunning abdication of American leadership and a grave threat to our planet's future".

Informed sources tell Reuters that US President Donald Trump will follow through on a campaign pledge to pull the United States out of a global pact to fight climate change.

Trump has repeatedly expressed doubts about climate change, at times calling it a hoax to weaken US industry.

But Trump said the agreement disadvantaged the U.S.

He said the deal would have cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Like his boss, Pruitt has questioned the consensus of climate scientists that the Earth is warming and that man-made climate emissions are to blame.

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

A US decision to withdraw from the accord could further alienate American allies in Europe already wary of Trump and call into question USA leadership and trustworthiness on one of the world's leading issues.

For some in Wyoming, the Paris accord isn't about the coal industry, which has suffered more from competitively low natural gas prices than current or impending regulations. They include Apple, Google and Walmart.

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