As speculation rises that US will exit the Paris climate deal, President Trump announced he will take a decision on the matter “very soon”.
Trump was responding to questions from reporters on Wednesday about whether he plans to withdraw the US from the landmark global agreement, a major foreign policy legacy of his predecessor Barack Obama.
“You’re going to find out very soon,” he said when pressed further on the withdrawal. “I’m hearing from a lot of people, both ways. Both ways.”
Two major news outlets — Axis and CBS News — reported that the US President had made a decision to withdraw from the climate change agreement and the administration has been informing world leaders about it.
According to US senators, leaving the climate pact would result in strengthening India and China’s economy at the cost of America.
“By succumbing to pressure from administrator Scott Pruitt and other advisors, President Trump is ceding the future to the Germans, the Chinese, the Indians, and other nations rather than having the United States continue to lead the world on clean energy solutions,” said Democrat Ed Markey.
Another Democratic Senator, Jeff Markley, tweeted that “An American retreat is great for the economies of China and India, and terrible for US economy.”
Earlier, a White House official said Trump was expected to pull out of the deal, but added that there could be “caveats.”
European leaders pushed Trump to stay in the Paris pact during his recent overseas trip. His advisors are divided on the move.
Several Democrats have spoken out against the “misguided” step saying it could potentially damage not only the environment, but also the economy.
“If President Trump decides to remove the United States from this agreement, it will weaken our standing globally – allowing other countries to adopt leading roles when it comes to our shared responsibility to protect our planet for future generations,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley.
In a tweet, Trump had said he would be announcing his decision on the 2015 deal in the next few days.
“I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. Make America great again!,” Trump said.
“Details on just how exactly the US will be withdrawing are still being worked out by a team that includes EPA administrator Scott Pruitt,” CBS News reported.
“A full, formal withdrawal could take up to three years to execute, unravelling one of former President Barack Obama’s major achievements in office to reduce the impacts of climate change,” it added.
(With inputs from agencies)