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World

White House Informing Allies Trump Will Abandon Climate Pact

The White House invited representatives from several groups that support withdrawing from the Paris accord

President Donald Trump waits for the arrival of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, photo: AP/Susan Walsh
4 weeks ago

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump will announce Thursday that the U. S. will withdraw from the Paris global climate pact, according to a White House official, congressional officials and others briefed by the White House.

Trump is to make the announcement from the Rose Garden Thursday afternoon.

“He’s pulling out. It’s official,” said Stephen Moore, an economist who worked for Trump’s campaign and participated in an administration conference call. “They’re going to withdraw U.S. participation in the treaty.”

White House talking points obtained by a news agency say that the Paris accord “is a BAD deal for Americans” and that the president’s action would keep “his campaign promise to put U.S. workers first.”

“The Accord,” the document goes on to say, “was negotiated poorly by the Obama Administration and signed out of desperation.”

“The U.S. is already leading the world in energy production and doesn’t need a bad deal that will harm American workers,” it reads.

The White House had signaled that withdrawal was likely, but Trump has been known to change his mind at the last minute on such major decisions.

Abandoning the pact was one of Trump’s principal campaign pledges, but the U.S.’s allies have expressed alarm about the likely consequences. Top White House aides have been divided. Aides have been deliberating on “caveats in the language,” one official said.

The White House invited representatives from several groups that support withdrawing from the Paris accord, including staff from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank with close ties to the administration, and Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a libertarian think tank that gets financial support from the fossil fuel industry.

Trump had several potential options. Some of his aides have been searching for a middle ground in an effort to thread the needle between his base of supporters who oppose the deal for fear it will hamper U.S. economic growth and those warning that a U.S. exit would deal a blow to the fight against global warming as well as to worldwide U.S. leadership.

Under the agreement, the U.S. had agreed to reduce the country’s pollution emissions to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025 — about 1.6 billion tons. Countries are permitted under the treaty to change their goals and there is no punishment for missing targets.

Pulling out of the agreement outright would take three-and-a-half years under the standard cooling-off period for new international treaties.

Abandoning the Paris pact would isolate the U.S. from a raft of international allies who spent years negotiating the 2015 agreement to fight global warming and pollution by reducing carbon emissions in nearly 200 nations. While traveling abroad last week, Trump was repeatedly pressed to stay in the deal by European leaders and the pope. Withdrawing would leave the United States aligned only with Russia among the world’s industrialized economies.

U.S. corporate leaders have also appealed to the businessman-turned-president to stay in the pact. They include Apple, Google and Walmart. Even fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell say the United States should abide by the deal.

JILL COLVIN
JULIE PACE

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