President Donald Trump teased an imminent decision Wednesday on whether to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, promising an announcement “very soon” as aides reportedly said a US pullout was likely.
“You’re going to find out very soon,” Trump said of his decision without indicating which way he is leaning. “I’m hearing from a lot of people, both ways. Both ways.”
Earlier, America’s international allies and Trump’s domestic opponents lashed out at media reports that the United States could withdraw from the global accord to curb carbon emissions, a move that would make the deal less effective.
“I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” the president tweeted, as several US outlets including website Axios reported he had made up his mind to quit the deal.
The White House did not confirm those reports and it was unclear whether Trump would fully scrap US participation or merely water down US emissions objectives.
An American withdrawal would come less than 18 months after the historic 196-nation pact was signed in the French capital — the fruit of a hard-fought agreement between Beijing and Washington under Barack Obama’s leadership.
The European Union and China indicated they would press ahead with the deal, regardless of US participation.
The United States is the world’s second biggest carbon emitter, after China.
“China and the EU… will implement the agreement,” a senior EU official told reporters on Wednesday, on condition of anonymity.
“The Paris Agreement will continue with full force of implementation even if the US pulls out.”