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White House delays meeting on Paris climate deal

12 Mai 2017

French president-elect Emmanuel Macron has told his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in a telephone call he will defend a climate change deal agreed in Paris in 2015, his spokeswoman says. But an ongoing argument over the fate of the 2015 Paris climate accord has spilled into unusually public view as top advisers to the President near a decision on withdrawing from the landmark pact.

"Our president, has indicated that he plans to make a decision sometime over the next couple of weeks, but not this week".

World leaders gathered to sign the Paris climate agreement in December 2015, but new U.S. President Donald Trump wants out.

Trump's advisers and cabinet heads were divided over whether Trump should keep his campaign promise to pull the United States out of the agreement - or stay and try to reshape it, Reuters reported.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former chief executive of the oil company Exxon, said at his Senate confirmation hearing in January that he supports staying in the deal.

Today, White House advisors postponed a "key meeting" to discuss America's involvement in the Paris Agreement, Politico reports.

Trump vowed during his presidential campaign to "cancel" U.S. participation in the accord, which obliges countries to slash their greenhouse gas emissions to keep global temperatures from rising to catastrophic levels.

Senior State Department environmental official David Balton said "the question of the USA view of the Paris Agreement is still under consideration within the U.S. government".

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President Donald Trump is delaying a decision on whether to withdraw from a landmark climate deal until after an global summit later this month.

Uncertainty over America's future has already loomed large during the 11-day meeting to work out the nuts and bolts of implementing the global deal, which Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, was instrumental in bringing about.

"But it won't happen without clear, stable policy signals from countries worldwide - in particular, the USA government whose waffling on the Paris Climate Agreement is hugely troubling", she said in a statement.

Administration officials said the crunch sit-down set for Tuesday had "been postponed" and may now take place next week.

While the new Trump administration decides what to do, the Chinese foreign ministry quoted Xi as telling his French counterpart, newly-elected Emmanuel Macron, in a phone call that the two countries "should protect the achievements of global governance, including the Paris Agreement".

Though it isn't an official topic, global concerns over the uncertainty that the new US government would probably exit Paris Agreement are casting shadow over the conference. He said he trusted that "the good sense and pragmatic spirit of President Trump and his team" would prevail.

The agreement caps and reduces the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), described as the world's fastest-growing climate pollutant, in a gradual process beginning by 2019, with action by developed countries including the United States, the world's second-worst polluter.