Trump Delays Decision on Paris Climate Accords

President Trump greeting Brigitte Macron, the wife of President Emmanuel Macron of France, before a concert by La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra at the ancient Greek Theater of Taormina, Italy. (Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)

President Trump declined to endorse the Paris climate accords on Saturday, saying he would decide next week whether the United States would pull out of the 195-nation agreement.

Mr. Trump’s lack of a decision after three days of contentious private debate and intense lobbying by other leaders came even as the six other G-7 nations reaffirmed their commitment to cutting planet-warming pollution in a joint statement issued on Saturday afternoon.

The lobbying essentially ended in a stalemate, with Mr. Trump remaining opaque about his intentions regarding the 2015 pact as he prepared to return home after a nine-day overseas trip. It underscored the continuing division between the United States and its allies about the global environmental pact.

The joint communiqué makes clear that all the G-7 nations except the United States remained determined to carry out the Paris agreement. It says: “Expressing understanding for this process, the heads of state and of government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom, and the presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement.”

In a Twitter message posted before the joint statement was officially released, Mr. Trump said: “I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!”

The reaction was swift and critical. Alden Meyer, the director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said: “President Trump’s continued waffling on whether to stay in or withdraw from the Paris Agreement made it impossible to reach consensus at the Taormina summit on the need for ambitious climate action. But he stands in stark isolation.”

Jennifer Morgan, the executive director of Greenpeace International, said, “President Trump should now return to Washington and make the right decision, take climate change seriously and take action with the rest of the world.”

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SOURCE: NY Times, Michael D. Shear and Mark Landler