Trump, EPA chief meet ahead of decision on climate change

Wednesday morning, when officials told some news organizations that Trump had settled on pulling out of the climate agreement, seemingly everyone in the world jumped in to try to influence or spin his decision, from the Chinese government to the coal industry to the state of California.

Trump not only should announce the United States' continued commitment to the accord; he should openly accept that climate change is a real threat and more generally support sound environmental policies.

The Eiffel tower is illuminated in green with the words "Paris Agreement is Done", to celebrate the Paris U.N. COP21 Climate Change agreement in Paris, France, November 4, 2016. In withdrawing from the agreement, the United States joins Nicaragua and Syria as the only countries in the world not participating.

Almost 200 nations, including the United States, agreed in 2015 to voluntarily reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to combat climate change. Under the pact, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt has overtly advocated quitting a deal he judges "bad" for America.

Trump pledged during his presidential campaign to withdraw the USA from the pact immediately after taking office, but had wavered on the issue since winning the election.

A full, formal withdrawal could take up to three years to execute, unraveling one of former President Barack Obama's major achievements in office to reduce the impacts of climate change.

Global leaders began reacting to the reports of Trump's plans.

The only other two countries in the United Nations that did not support the deal are Nicaragua and Syria.

Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipila said a USA withdrawal would be a big setback, adding that "we must find partners to continue, because this work must not stop".

The Paris Climate Agreement was the particular effort of President Obama who spearheaded the campaign. That promise helped rally supporters sharing his scepticism of global efforts to police United States carbon emissions. "Obama past year called it a "turning point" in the fight against climate change" and said it would "delay or avoid the worst consequences of climate change".

And criticizing climate change in favor of broader American energy production was a key theme of his campaign.

In analyzing Trump's apparent decision to pull out of the agreement, Axios noted, "It also sends a stark and combative signal to the rest of the world that working with other nations on climate change isn't a priority to the Trump administration".

Earth is likely to reach more unsafe levels of warming even sooner if the US retreats from the pledge to cut carbon dioxide pollution, scientists have told the AP.

There are no plans to change Canada's climate commitments despite this latest development. A source told Reuters that India had also indicated it would stick by the deal.

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