US President Donald Trump will announce the withdrawal of the country from the Paris climate pact, news agency AFP reported Thursday. The withdrawal will follow UN procedures and take up to four years. Earlier on Wednesday, President Trump had said that he was still listening to “a lot of people both ways.”
The historic treaty allows member countries to change their goals and there is no punishment for missing targets. Former President Barack Obama had agreed to reduce the US green house gas emissions to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025 or about 1.6 billion tons. However, a move to formally pulling out of the accord outright would take three-and-a-half years under the standard cooling-off period for new international treaties.
Before leaving on his first overseas trip as President, Trump was repeatedly pressed to stay in the deal by European leaders and the Pope. The withdrawal would leave America aligned only with Russia among the world’s industrialized economies.
Many corporate leaders from USA also appealed to the businessman-turned-president to stay in the pact, which include Apple, Google and Walmart. Fossil fuel energy giants such as Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell have also said the United States should abide by the deal.
Many European leaders have also tried to explain the process for withdrawing to Trump “in clear, simple sentences” during summit meetings last week, Jean-Claude Juncker had told the press in Berlin, adding that possibly Trump doesn’t “comprehensively understand” the terms of the accord.
The Trump administration is also split on the issue with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in favour of remaining in the agreement and Chief strategist Steve Bannon supporting an exit, as does Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.
While, Trump’s chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, has mooted for changing the US carbon reduction targets instead of pulling out of the deal completely.