Coal, solar stocks fall as U.S. set to ditch Paris climate deal

Jun 01, 2017, 01:08
Coal, solar stocks fall as U.S. set to ditch Paris climate deal

A White House official says President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.

Such a decision is bound to frustrate allies that have spent years negotiating the deal in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.

During Trump's overseas trip last week, European leaders pressed him to keep the U.S. in the pact.

President Donald Trump will follow through on a campaign pledge to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, a source briefed on the decision told Reuters.

While Trump now favors an exit, he has been known to change his thinking on major decisions and tends to seek counsel from a range of inside and outside advisers, many with differing agendas, until the last minute.

Trump aides including Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, lawyer Don McGahn and Peter Navarro, along with EPA chief Pruitt, argued hard for leaving the accord.

Trump on Tuesday met Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who is in favour of withdrawal from the Paris Accord and will meet Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday, the CNN reported. Senior adviser Jared Kushner generally thinks the deal is bad but would like to find a way to see if US emissions targets can be changed.

In those conversations, McKenna said she's also highlighted that 90 per cent of the accord remains to be negotiated and it's better to be at the table. It also would threaten a $100 billion-a-year stream of funds that industrial nations have pledged to persuade developing nations to cut back their own emissions, endangering the political foundations of the global fight against climate change.

"The big question is whether a USA withdrawal would lead to U.S. investors and utilities actually starting to build new plants that commit to high future emissions", said Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute.

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McKenna said the rest of the world doesn't intend to sit and wait for Trump. "China climate relationship and the beginning of a reinvigorated partnership between China and the European Union", he said.

The accord, agreed on by almost 200 countries in Paris in 2015, aims to limit global warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

The United States is set to join Syria and Nicaragua as the world's only non-participants in the Paris Climate Agreement. The official, who is involved in preparing the meeting between European Union officials and China's premier, was not authorized to speak publicly and discussed the matter on condition of anonymity because the meeting statement was not finalized.

News of Trump's expected decision drew swift reaction from the United Nations. The organization's main Twitter page quoted Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as saying, "Climate change is undeniable".

But this much is already clear: Trump's administration will not actively work to stop climate change. "Climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable".

Nancy Pelosi, opposition leader in the House of Representatives, said the decision would be a "stunning abdication of American leadership" and "a threat to the planet".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has exchanged barbs with Trump in the days since last weekend's Group of Seven summit ended in division over Paris and trade issues, is meeting today with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

France's ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, said on Twitter that the Paris agreement "doesn't infringe on U.S. sovereignty" and noted that major American corporations had supported the deal.

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