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White House postpones meeting to decide on participation in Paris climate pact

Washington: A meeting that was to decide whether the US would stay or exit from the landmark Paris climate agreement has now been postponed by the White House,
in an apparent bid to flesh out arguments between warring factions in the Trump administration, according to a media report.

The White House. AP

The White House. AP

The meeting, originally scheduled for Tuesday, has been postponed because of scheduling conflict, The Hill reported quoting an unnamed White House official.
No new date has been scheduled yet.

"Participants were expected to focus on potential legal implications of staying in the pact. People familiar with the discussions said it could have been the last chance for theadministration's warring factions to flesh out arguments," the report said.

Last month while addressing a public rally on the occasion of 100 days in office, US President Donald Trump had said that a "big decision" on Paris Agreement is on the anvil. "I will be making a big decision on the Paris accord over the next two weeks and we will see what happens," Trump said on 29 April, adding that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change is one-sided.

"Like the one-sided Paris climate accord where the United States pays... billions of dollars while China, Russia, and India have contributed (to pollution) and will contribute nothing," he had alleged.

Trump claimed it is estimated that for compliance with the agreement could ultimately shrink America's GDP by USD 2.5 trillion over a 10-year period.

"That means factories and plants closing all over our country," he said and alleged that the Washington's "dishonest media" would not report because it is part of the problem. "Their priorities are not my priorities, and they are not your priorities, believe me, Trump said.

A few days later, a dozen odd American governors urged Trump to keep the country in the Paris Agreement. "Collective action to limit emissions world-wide is
critical; without collaboration, climate change will cost the world's nations several trillion dollars in damages. "Under the Paris Agreement, all the world's major
economies are taking action on climate change for the first time, including China and India, which have put forward their own commitments to cut their carbon pollution domestically," the governors said in a letter to Trump.

"If the US does not maintain global climate leadership through national policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to clean energy, China and India will.
"This would be a huge lost opportunity, putting us at a competitive disadvantage and potentially locking us into technologies and economic pathways that are increasingly
obsolete while China and India reap the benefits of low-carbon leadership," the governors had added.

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.

The agreement was adopted by consensus on 12 December, 2015.

India, the world's fourth-largest carbon emitter with its population of 1.3 billion people, ratified the Paris agreement on climate change to become the 62nd nation to join the deal last year.

Updated Date: May 09, 2017 19:28 PM

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