Trump delaying decision on Paris climate deal

Representatives of almost 200 countries that are party to the agreement are meeting in Bonn from May 8-18 to discuss technical aspects of implementing the accord.

President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey Tuesday, saying it was necessary to restore "public trust and confidence" in the nation's top law enforcement agency following several tumultuous months.

The White House has appeared hesitant to address the climate deal, which Trump railed against during the 2016 campaign, but on which his advisers appear to be divided.

The White House originally said that Trump hoped to decide by the meeting - held in Sicily in late May - whether to pull the U.S. from the landmark climate pact.

'We are now reviewing issues related to the agreement, and expect to have a decision by the time of the G7 Summit, late May-ish, if not sooner, ' White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in March.

One G-7 leader, French President-elect Emmanuel Macron, urged Mr. Trump not to dismantle the accord in a phone call on Monday.

The perspective comes as the Trump administration is engaged in a fierce internal debate about how to proceed with the Paris climate deal and whether to explore leaving the accord altogether.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during the daily press briefing, Tuesday, May 9, 2017, at the White House in Washington.

He called climate change a "hoax" perpetrated by China but his tune has changed since his personal meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has led his country to be a global leader on investing in renewable energy.

"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.

The Paris accord, signed by almost 200 nations in 2015, was never ratified by the Senate due to the staunch oppositions of Republicans.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will host the biennial Arctic Council meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, later this week. It therefore does not have the force of a binding treaty, and the United States could potentially withdraw from the deal without legal penalty.

A veteran Republican official is urging the Trump administration to remain in the Paris climate agreement, co-writing an op-ed arguing "the business case" for the worldwide accord.

Pruitt, the USA government's leading environmental official, has rejected the scientific consensus that humans are the "primary contributor" to global warming. The official requested anonymity to discuss private conversations.

This is the ceiling at which scientists say the planet can avoid worst-case-scenario climate change impacts - rising seas, harsher droughts, more intense storms, disease-spread and conflict over dwindling natural resources.

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