China warns of 'global consensus' on tackling climate change

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(AP Photo/Susan Walsh). Protesters gather outside the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 1, 2017, to protest President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the Unites States from the Paris climate change accord.

"Obviously, we are anxious, even though I want to say very clearly that Italy, and I think all of Europe, will push ahead even harder with the Paris agreement", Galletti said.

A USA pullout would be disappointing but the European Union stands ready to take global leadership on the issue, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said in Brussels.

White House aides have been divided on the question of staying or leaving the accord and had been deliberating on "caveats in the language" as late as Wednesday, one official said.

The Kremlin says Russian Federation is committed to the Paris climate change accords.

Team put together by Trump is said to be mulling over a sudden or more formal and slower exit from the Paris deal.

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey from MA also noted the potential economic disruption, tweeting: "Pulling out of #ParisAgreement is a massive moral, economic & leadership failure for Trump admin. Loss of business, jobs, & intl standing". Even fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell say the United States should abide by the deal.

Trump's predecessor Barack Obama enacted the deal without U.S. Senate ratification. During his campaign, Trump said he would "cancel" the Paris agreement. "This notion, 'I am Trump, I am American, America first and I am getting out, ' that is not going to happen". Chief strategist Steve Bannon supports an exit, while senior adviser Jared Kushner generally thinks the deal is bad, but would like to find a way to see if the US emissions targets can be changed.

Quitting the Paris accord may not resonate with members of Trump's Republican Party as much as his administration expects.

Word of Trump's expected decision came a day after the president met with Pruitt.

Trump's chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, has discussed the possibility of changing the USA carbon reduction targets instead of pulling out of the deal completely.

Everyone cautioned that no decision was final until Trump announced it.

Holes in Trump's reasoning on climate pullout
Trump had raised alarm bells when he refused to sign up to a pledge on the deal at last week's G7 meeting in Italy. "We're getting out", Trump said at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden under sunny skies on a warm June day.

There have been influential voices urging Trump not to ditch the Paris accord.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Wednesday in Alaska that he had "yet to read what the actual Paris Agreement is", and would have to read it before weighing in.

The emissions goals are voluntary with no real consequences for countries that fail to meet them.

Trump had refused to endorse the landmark climate change accord at a summit of the G7 group of wealthy nations on Saturday, saying he needed more time to decide.

But these climate change negotiators, many of whom had worked to build global bridges on the issue since the early 1990s, could not have imagined the likes of President Trump.

Almost 200 nations, including the United States under President Barack Obama's administration, agreed in 2015 to voluntarily reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to combat climate change. That means the USA could stay in the accord and choose not to hit its goals or stay in the pact but adjust its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Paris Agreement is an accord sponsored by the United Nations created to help slow global climate change. The organization's main Twitter page quoted Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as saying, "Climate change is undeniable".

Addressing climate change presents an enormous economic opportunity as countries change the way they power their economies with global investment in clean energy totaling almost $300 billion in 2016.

The Sierra Club's executive director, Michael Brune, called the expected move a "historic mistake which our grandchildren will look back on with stunned dismay at how a world leader could be so divorced from reality and morality".

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more unsafe levels of warming sooner as a result of the president's decision because America's pollution contributes so much to rising temperatures. Scientists suggest dropping out could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide a year - enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned on Thursday that if the Paris accord frayed because of a USA pullout, "then it means we will be doing less on climate protection, the deserts will grow, war and civil war will take place over water, with corresponding movements of migrants".

A senior White House official told ABC News that the President is poised to drop out of the Paris climate accord. The decision has no direct impact on major USA regulations on power plants and vehicle rules now aimed at reducing carbon emissions, although those are now under review by Trump as well. Indeed, the lack of USA commitment to the issue had been a sticking point prior to the Obama Administration and even then many developing countries wanted guarantees that the US would pay its fair share given its unmatched historic contribution to the emissions of the pollutants that cause global warming. Supporters of the deal say it's not an either-or choice.