G7 Leaders Expect Trump to Make Paris Accord Decision This Week

Source: By Brian Parkin, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2017

World leaders expect President Donald Trump to announce this week whether the U.S. will remain in the landmark Paris climate accord as they gather for the Group of Seven summit, Germany’s environment minister said.

Trump, who has derided global warming as a hoax, will state his decision after arriving Friday for the two-day meeting in Taormina, Italy, Germany’s environment minister Barbara Hendricks, said Monday.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman declined to say when Trump would announce his decision. A White House spokesman had previously said the president would make his choice after meeting with G-7 leaders.

Trump, who is visiting Israel Monday as part of a nine-day international tour, has for weeks put off the decision about the Paris agreement. Members of his administration are deadlocked about whether the U.S. should uphold the pact, brokered by nearly 200 nations in 2015. Leaders from Germany, China and other nations have pushed for America to stay.

Pressure has also come from a broad coalition of corporate leaders and business groups, including 280 investors representing more than $17 trillion in assets who released a statement Monday saying climate change must be an “urgent priority” for all G-20 nations. Executives have also warned that Trump would put U.S. companies at a disadvantage if he pulled out of the pact.

Environmental groups have said that withdrawing from the global accord would have significant consequences. As the richest nation and the second-largest polluter, U.S. efforts are central to keeping climate change from hitting an irreversible tipping point, unleashing catastrophic floods, droughts and storms, according to researchers.

The accord is broader than any previous climate agreement. It calls for reducing pollution in hopes of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above temperatures at the outset of the industrial revolution.