Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

‘Paris Agreement’ on Climate Change Awaits Trump’s Decision | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55373603

Protesters throw up a globe-shaped balloon during a rally held the day before the start of the 2015 Paris World Climate Change Conference, known as the COP21 summit, in Rome, Italy, November 29 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

Bonn, Washington- As the “Paris Agreement” anticipated the final decision of President Donald Trump, delegates participating in an international meeting on climate change in Germany were concerned about the possible US withdrawal from the deal.

On Tuesday, delegates from a total of 196 countries kicked off negotiations in the German city of Bonn on means to combat climate change.

At the talks, expected to last until May 18, the nations will try to work out detailed rules for the Paris climate accord.

“We do consider that it would be quite important [for the US] to stay at the table,” Yvon Slingenberg, a representative for the EU bloc, said in Bonn on Tuesday, hinting to the position of Trump, who threatened to withdraw from the agreement signed in the French capital on December 2015.

Under the Paris deal, nations agreed to reduce greenhouse gases emissions and limit global warming to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by shifting to a low-carbon economy.

But, the international efforts to curb greenhouse gases emissions could be seriously undermined if Washington decides to pull out from the deal as the US is the world’s second-largest carbon polluter following China.

On Tuesday, Trump met with his main economic advisors to study Washington’s position regarding the agreement. Trump had promised during his presidential campaign to “cancel” the deal.

“The last thing I heard is that the president has indicated that he plans to make a decision some time over the next couple of weeks, but not this week,” David Balton, the US deputy assistant secretary for international environmental affairs, clarified on Monday.

Sue Biniaz, a former State Department legal adviser, is among those urging Trump not to make the binary choice of pulling out.

“It is clear from the agreement that if you do change your target, you are encouraged to change it in a more ambitious direction,” she said, according to AFP.

“But it is equally clear that you are not legally prohibited from changing it in any direction that you choose,” Biniaz added.