Sunday

21st Apr 2019

Trump delays climate decision

  • Americans urging Trump to stick to the Paris agreement, at a climate march last April (Photo: Joe Flood)

US president Donald Trump has decided to take more time to decide whether his country should remain a party to the Paris climate treaty.

The White House said on Tuesday (9 May) that the president will make his decision after returning from the Group of Seven (G7) summit on 26 and 27 May.

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  • UN negotiators have begun talks in Bonn about how to implement the Paris deal (Photo: UNFCCC)

Earlier, the Trump administration had said it would announce whether the US would pull out of the Paris deal before the G7 summit.

The news came as representatives of countries around the world met in Bonn in Germany for talks on how to implement the first ever truly global climate agreement, signed in the French capital in 2015.

The US, together with China, is the nation most responsible for emitting climate-warming greenhouse gases. If it were to leave the pact, it would impact greatly on the chances of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, a tipping point scientists say will lead to irreversible disruptions.

The future climate action involvement of the US was the “elephant in the room” in Bonn, according to one participant quoted by AFP.

Ethiopian delegate Gebru Jember Endalew told news website Climate Home that if the US withdraws, “it’s a betrayal to the global community – especially the least developed countries and the most vulnerable groups of countries”.

At a press conference on Monday, representatives of the European Union did not want to speculate.

“We are of course all waiting what will be the final decision of the new US administration,” said Yvon Slingenberg, director of the European Commission's department for climate action.

She added that the EU looked forward to having a debate with the US about the merits of staying in the Paris agreement.

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