U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, as per Reuters quoting news agency Axios on Wednesday, citing two unidentified sources who have direct knowledge of the decision. At G7 summit, the US President had refused to endorse the landmark climate change accord on Saturday, saying he needed more time to decide. He then tweeted that he would make an announcement this week.
Trump’s decision will put the United States in league with Syria and Nicaragua as the world’s only non-participants in the Paris Climate Agreement. The decision could also have sweeping implications for the deal, which is heavily reliant on the commitment of big polluter nations to reduce emissions of gases.
According to the Paris climate deal, which is agreed on by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015, the countries will aim to limit global warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.
News agency Axios reported that the details of the pullout are being worked out by a team that includes EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. The choice presented before the US is two-fold: First, either a formal withdrawal, in which case it could take three years. Second, leaving the U.N. treaty that the accord is based on, which would be be extreme but also quicker, as per Axios.
The news agency further reported that Trump’s decision to withdraw from the climate pact was influenced by a letter from 22 Republican U.S. senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. It must be noted that former president Barack Obama, who helped broker the accord, had praised the pact during a trip to Europe earlier this month.
After China, US is the world’s second-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide. Concerns have been expressed by supporters of the climate pact who believe that a U.S. exit could trigger other nations to weaken their commitments or also withdraw.
However, countries such as China, and Canada have reiterated that they will honour their commitments to the pact even if US withdraws.