Australia urges Trump not to quit Paris climate pact

Toby Manning
May 31, 2017

The employment minister, Michaelia Cash, says Australia's national interest is best served if Donald Trump stays the course with the Paris climate agreement.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged the Trump administration not to leave the Paris Climate Agreement, saying the deal would have long-term benefits for the US economy and even its security.

At the G7-meeting in the Italian town of Taormina, German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated that Trump's G7 peers lobbied him hard on the issue of climate change.

USA president Donald Trump refused to endorse the Paris climate change agreement over the weekend, with G7 leaders failing to bridge differences with America. He's spending time on climate.The Paris Agreement is broader than any previous climate accord.

Asked at Tuesday's press briefing if the president thinks human activity is contributing to global climate change, Spicer said, "Honestly, I haven't asked him that". Inside the West Wing, advisers have believed for weeks that the president was inclined to do what he promised during the campaign: in rallies, he repeatedly vowed to "cancel" what he called the job-killing agreement.

Earlier, a spokeswoman for Ms Bishop said: "The government has consistently confirmed that Australia is committed to the Paris agreement and Australia's emissions reduction targets".

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Alternatively, the president could declare the accord a legal treaty, which would need Senate approval, or pull the US out of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the underlying treaty for the Paris accord. He hasn't made an official decision yet, but if the president decides to pull out of the Paris Agreement that Obama signed in 2016, it could make things hard for Canada - although it won't stop climate initiatives from going forward, according to a former Canadian diplomat.

Fearing that, 22 GOP senators wrote to the White House last week urging an exit from the accord.

Ivanka Trump, however, has spent the past several weeks making sure that her father has heard from both sides, according to an administration official familiar with her efforts. Trump did not sign onto a joint statement at last week's G-7 conference articulating support for the Paris accord. Staying in "would subject the United States to significant litigation risk that could upend your administration's ability to fulfill its goal of rescinding the Clean Power Plan", they wrote. In an attempt to understand the repercussions of the USA backing out from the deal, The Associate Press reportedly consulted with several climate scientists and examined a special computer model scenario to see what could be the potential effects. It includes political leaders from the European Union, China, and six of the seven nations in the G7, the world's most exclusive geopolitical club. He added that he hoped that despite Trump's choice, state and local governments and businesses would jump in to help in the climate fight.

The United States is the world's biggest economy and the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China.Guterres said he intends to convene a climate summit in 2019 to review implementation of the global climate deal. The U.S. inked a $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia and unveiled numerous business commitments in the region, though the White House never provided specific details about the scope of the agreements.

On the 2016 campaign trail, Trump vowed to "cancel" the pact.

Other reports by VgToday

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