United Nations chief calls for sustained action on climate change

Katrina Barker
June 4, 2017

"If we can, great".

Without mentioning the USA specifically, he said China has been "actively promoting the Paris agreement and we were one of the first countries to ratify the Paris agreement".

Scientists say that Earth is likely to reach more risky levels of warming sooner if the USA retreats from its pledge because America contributes so much to rising temperatures.

Calculations suggest withdrawal could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide a year - enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather.

The White House signalled that Trump was likely to decide on exiting the global pact - fulfilling one of his principal campaign pledges - though top aides were divided.

Musk said on Twitter that he had done all he could to advise the White House on the deal that was signed in 2016 by 195 countries.

One of the few scientists who plays down the harm of the US possibly leaving the agreement is John Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the scientist credited with coming up with the 2 degree goal.

The "stay-in" camp, which included Trump's daughter Ivanka, chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, had argued the United States could reduce its voluntary emission-cuts targets while still keeping a voice within the accord.

He is breaking from many of America's staunchest allies, who have expressed alarm about the decision.

Word of Trump's decision comes a day after the president met with Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

She's criticizing what she says are "destructive and short-sighted" decisions by the Trump administration.

"Some may seek to portray the response to climate change as a fundamental threat to the economy", said Guterres.

She says no one government can stop the momentum toward tackling climate change, adding that Canada will continue "marching on". "On the contrary. We in Germany, Europe and the world will combine our forces more resolutely than ever to address and successfully tackle challenges for humanity such as climate change".

"The U.S.is already leading the world in energy production and doesn't need a bad deal that will harm American workers", it read. Under the pact, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. But the targets were voluntary, meaning the US and the almost 200 other nations in the agreement could alter their commitments.

"While it may be hoped that the good work being done on U.S. emissions reductions by states, cities, businesses, and individuals will continue, the reduction of federal support for [research and development] on clean and efficient energy, the abandonment or weakening of federal regulations aimed at reducing emissions, and the (continuing) refusal to put a price on carbon emissions, despite the recommendations of leading Republicans from past administrations, will make it extremely hard to meet the emissions-reduction targets to which the United States committed itself in Paris", John Holdren, Obama's former science and technology adviser and now a professor at Harvard University, said in an email.

The agreement itself includes pillars that involve American data, including material from NASA and other US federal departments, and if the USA walks away Vaughan said there will be gaps to fill.

Business leaders, normally strong supporters of Republican initiatives, had vigorously appealed to Trump not to abandon the agreement. Many economists believe the accord would likely help create about as many jobs in renewable energy as it might cost in polluting industries.

That's what the top House Democrat is calling President Donald Trump's expected decision to pull the USA from a historic climate agreement.

Once in power, Trump and Pruitt have moved to delay or roll back federal regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions while pledging to revive long-struggling US coal mines. The decision has no direct impact on major USA regulations on power plants and vehicle rules now aimed at reducing carbon emissions, although those are now under review by Trump as well.

He said solar power grew 50 percent past year, with China and the United States in the lead, and in both those countries "new renewable energy jobs now outstrip those created in the oil and gas industries".

Earlier, a group of 22 Republican Senators including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a letter urged Trump to withdraw from the agreement.

Pence introduced Trump in the Rose Garden Thursday.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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