Washington, May 31 (IANS) US President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, officials said on Wednesday.
The US leader refused to reaffirm his country’s commitment to the accord at a G7 summit in Italy last week. He said he would make up his mind after returning to the US.
The decision would be a significant foreign policy break with nearly every other nation on earth and a major reversal of the Obama administration’s efforts on climate change, CNN reported.
Former President Barack Obama and a host of other countries signed the climate change agreement in 2015, which aims to reduce global carbon emissions.
On Tuesday, Trump met a key voice advocating for withdrawal, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt.
He was set to meet Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who supports remaining in the deal, said the report.
A formal announcement is expected at some point this week — Trump tweeted on Wednesday: “I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Senior US officials familiar with his plans, said the move could change until Trump makes his decision public.
The administration’s decision comes after months of internal debate and speculation about what Trump, who campaigned on leaving the deal, would do once he took office.
The White House was initially slated to make a final decision on the climate accord earlier this month, but delayed the decision until the last week’s G7 meeting in Sicily.
At the summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters the climate debate was “controversial” and that the leaders of the other G7 nations — France, Japan, Canada, Britain and Italy — all urged Trump to remain a part of the 2015 agreement.
Aides to Trump said he was listening with an open mind to the other leaders’ arguments about Paris, but had yet to decide whether to withdraw the US from the pact.
Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist and the former head of Breitbart, had pressed Trump to stick with his campaign promise and leave the deal.
But Trump’s daughter Ivanka pressed aides to look at the full picture when considering what withdrawal could mean.
Trump’s son-in-law and top aide, Jared Kushner, was said to be neutral on the deal.
Tillerson and Energy Secretary Rick Perry had both advised against leaving the deal, sources said.