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States seek to fill the void after Trump dumped the climate pact

02 Juin 2017

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has quit two of President Trump's business advisory councils after the president announced he will pull the USA out of the historic Paris climate agreement.

The agreement - an ambitious plan to combat, control and adapt to climate change - is largely viewed as a last-ditch effort to shield Earth from the devastating effects of global warming. The United States formally signed onto the agreement in September 2016.

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more unsafe levels of warming sooner if the US retreats from its pledge because America contributes so much to rising temperatures.

Trump said that it would be "great" if the USA can renegotiate new terms and re-enter the agreement, but called it "fine" should that not be possible.

Paris city hall meanwhile said it would illuminate its building in green on Thursday "in a sign of disapproval" of Trump's announcement and to recall the determination of cities around the world to fight climate change.

"We will continue to lobby the Americans and the White House to show the leadership they have shown in the past on reducing CO2", he said. At least two prominent business leaders from California, Bob Iger of Disney and Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX, said they will resign from the president's business advisory council.

Trump and Macron spoke on the phone Thursday for about five minutes in a "direct" exchange, according to a French presidential source.

"As incoming COP president, I reaffirm that I will do everything possible to continue to forge a grand coalition that will accelerate the momentum that has continued since the Paris Agreement", he said.

Brown's full statement on Trump's decision is below: "Donald Trump has absolutely chosen the wrong course".

The Paris Climate Agreement is a historic treaty signed by over 190 nations and can not be renegotiated on the request of a single nation, the United Nations's Framework Convention on Climate Change has said.

Steffen Seibert, spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the chancellor was disappointed in Trump's decision and affirmed Germany's commitment to the accord. "It's to give their country an economic edge over the United States".

Trump's move puts the odds with almost 200 other nations that cooperated on the world's first major agreement aimed at tackling climate change in 2015. "It's now up to cities to lead", Peduto tweeted.

The three leaders tried to convince Trump last week at a Group of Seven summit to stay in the pact and honor USA commitments undertaken by the previous administration.

So all is not lost, at least when it comes to taking action to address climate change.

States seek to fill the void after Trump dumped the climate pact