After months of dithering, US President Donald Trump will announce Thursday at 3 PM his decision on US participation in the Paris climate agreement.
“I will be announcing my decision on Paris Accord, Thursday at 3:00 P.M. The White House Rose Garden. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”, Tweeted Wednesday evening Mr. Trump.
He did not say what his decision would be, but according to US media a withdrawal from the deal is very likely.
Assailed with questions on the crucial issue, the American president had said earlier in the day from the Oval Office that the public would know his decision very soon. “I listen to many people, on both sides,” said President Trump.
Since coming into power in January, Trump has shown his willingness to give a boost to fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) in the name of defending American jobs.
Concluded at the end of 2015 by more than 190 countries under the aegis of the UN, the Paris agreement aims to limit the rise in global temperature and its devastating effects.
A US withdrawal — very likely according to several US media — would be a real explosion, 18 months after this historic agreement, of which Beijing and Washington, the two major emitters of greenhouse gases on the planet, were central architects.
The European Union and China will reaffirm, at a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, their support for this text regardless of the position of the US president, said a European leader on condition of anonymity.
The billionaire and entrepreneur Elon Musk has threatened to leave the various cenacles of big bosses advising Donald Trump if he was to withdraw the United States from the agreement.
The issue deeply divided the G7 summit that recently took place in Sicily, with all its participants except the US president reaffirming their commitment to the text.
During his campaign, the 70-year-old businessman promised to “cancel” the deal. But since his installation at the White House, he has sent contradictory signals on the issue, reflecting his administration opposing views on the climate change but also, and beyond, on the role of the United States in the world and their relation to multilateralism .
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt has spoken out on the outcome of the deal, saying it was “bad” for America.
The vast majority of the world’s largest businesses have expressed their support to the Paris agreement. A dozen large groups, including oil giant ExxonMobil, agrochemical giant DuPont, or even tech companies like Google, Intel or Microsoft, have urged Donald Trump not to leave.
Concretely, Donald Trump could invoke Article 28 of the Paris Agreement, which allows the signatories to leave it, but due to the planned procedure, this exit would not become effective until 2020. Another solution could be To leave the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNCTAD) outright.
The White House remained silent on Wednesday and a possible last-minute surprise from the unpredictable president cannot not be ruled out.