UN chief urges action on climate change as Trump debates


At the end of the G7 summit a few days ago, Trump took to Twitter, writing: "I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!"

He was speaking after US President Donald Trump refused to join other leaders of the G7 group of rich nations in reaffirming support for the accord. The US president nonetheless faced huge pressure during his first foreign trip since taking office to uphold the pact from both world leaders and Pope Francis, who gave Trump his papal encyclical on climate change during their meeting at the Vatican.

Almost 200 nations, including the USA under Barack Obama, agreed in 2015 to voluntarily reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to combat climate change.

The US is the world's second-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide behind China.

Mr Guterres was asked for his view on reports that Mr Trump was ready to pull the USA out of the Paris deal, to which he replied: "When you disagree with someone, you try to convince that person, no?"

As President Trump eyes backing out of the world's largest climate agreement, he may lose one of his most prominent advisors from the tech world. The Obama administration committed the reducing carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025.

The move could also lead to other nations weakening or stepping back from their pledges under the pact.

An American withdrawal would come less than 18 months after the historic 196-nation pact was signed in the French capital - the fruit of a hard-fought agreement between Beijing and Washington under Barack Obama's leadership.

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In his first major speech on climate action, Guterres promised that he will intensify high-level political engagement to "raise the bar" on climate action.

"Many times I've made the argument that climate action actually creates jobs and creates growth, which is what the United States want, what Canada wants - it's what every country wants". "Climate change presents both business risks and business opportunities".

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Frances Adamson said she was not aware of specific conversations at ministerial level but said wide-ranging conversations have taken place with the United States administration.

"Whatever way he eventually goes will give a very clear indication as to where he is putting his own loyalty, where he is putting his weight".

Mr Trump may insist on changes to the agreement as the price of his cooperation. This is a former reality TV star.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives in Brussels late Thursday for talks with EU president Donald Tusk and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, with climate change at the top of the agenda. "This is a hugely important issue that is all about President Obama's legacy".

Doing so would help mitigate some of the impending worst aspects of global warming and help to reverse some of the damage done during decades of industrialization and human expansion.