Trump delays decision on Paris climate accord

After a conference in Sicily over the weekend, Trump refused to join other leaders in committing to the Paris climate change accord.

Trump's lack of a decision after three days of contentious private debate and intense lobbying by other leaders came even as the six other G-7 nations reaffirmed their commitment to cutting planet-warming emissions in a joint statement issued Saturday afternoon.

Axios said the decision, if true, would unravel predecessor Barack Obama's climate policies and send a "combative signal" to the rest of the world that global warming isn't one of Trump's priorities.

Mr Trump's attitude to climate change made the G7 talks "very difficult" said German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left).

Trump, who ran for president vowing to rip up the agreement, listened carefully to his new counterparts and is "evolving" on the issue, according to a top aide.

Back in 2012, Trump had tweeted: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive", in a comment that was picked up by former presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign a year ago.

French President Emmanuel Macron, however, said he thought "there was progress" and aired hope that the USA would stay aboard.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised what she called "a very hard, not to say very unsatisfactory" discussion with Trump on the issue. The G7 leaders met late last week in Taormina, Italy, and naturally climate change was on the agenda. Trump campaigned on a policy of pulling the U.S. out of the accord, which he argues represents a "bad deal" for United States business. Trump called it an "tremendously productive meeting".

President Obama helped negotiate the historic Paris Agreement in 2015, and it was officially ratified by the USA and 194 other signatories a year ago.

In November 2012, he tweeted that the "concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make USA manufacturing non-competitive".

Earlier this month, White House sources told HuffPost that Trump was leaning toward an exit from the accord. "His basis for decision ultimately will be what's best for the United States".

The Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, estimates that unchecked climate change could cost the USA economy nearly $2 trillion per year in current dollars by 2100.


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