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Trump defers Paris decision again - updated

UNITED STATES: The US president has said he will make a decision on the exiting the COP21 Paris Climate Change agreement soon.

Trump remains undecided on joining Syria and Nicaragua in the short list of nations not signed up to Paris (pic: Michael Vadon)
Trump remains undecided on joining Syria and Nicaragua in the short list of nations not signed up to Paris (pic: Michael Vadon)

The president tweeted he would make his decision known "over the next few days" after US media reported he would move to quit the accord. 

In an article on news site Axios, two sources with "direct knowledge" of the matter said Trump had decided to withdraw from the 2015 agreement.

Details of the withdrawal were reportedly being worked out with Enivronment Protection Agency director Scott Pruitt and could range from a three-year process to withdrawal from the accord, or exit the underlying UN climage change treaty completely, which would be quicker but more drastic, Axios reported. 

Exiting the agreement was one of Trump's key promises made repeatedly during the election campaign, but was not addressed by the executive order to review the country's Clean Power Plan on 28 March. 

UPDATE: Trump later tweeted he would make a televised announcement on the Paris agreement today (1 June) at 3pm US eastern time.

The European Commission and China are expected to issue a joint statement on 2 June committing to the implementation of the Paris agreement. "The EU and China consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever," the statement is expected to say, according to numerous media outlets. 

Speaking in Belgium, EC president Jean-Claude Juncker said Europe would stand up against any attempts to quit the agreeement: "If the President of the United States says in the next few hours or days that he is leaving the Paris Convention, then it is the duty of Europe to say this is not the case.

"This is not just about the future of European humanity, it is mainly about the future of people elsewhere. 83 countries run the risk of disappearing from the Earth's surface if we are not resolutely initiating the fight against climate change.

"The climate agreement states: It takes three or four years after this agreement entered into force in November 2016 to get out of this agreement.

"...Law is law. And all of this must be done. Not everything that is law, and not everything in international agreements, is fake news. This must be maintained."

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