Pres. Trump to announce decision on Paris climate pact Thursday

Image 1 of 2

President Donald Trump sat with the Vietnamese President in the White House Wednesday and refused to answer a reporter's question about whether he still thought climate change is a hoax.

President Trump's advisors are split on the issue of whether he should pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord.

"I'm hearing from a lot of people both ways," said President Trump.

During his campaign, he promised coal workers and other supporters that he'd reject the Paris agreement, claiming climate change was a hoax meant to hold back the United States job growth and economy.

"I'm not a big believer in manmade climate change," he said in one interview.

Worldwide there is scientific consensus and concern about carbon emissions and climate change which prompted the 2015 Paris conference that led to 195 countries signing the Paris Climate Accord. Only Syria and Nicaragua did not sign it.

The unprecedented international effort asked each country to reduce greenhouse gases. The U.S. pledged a 28% reduction, based on 2005 emission levels, by 2025.

U.C. Berkeley professor of energy and Public Policy Daniel Kammen, who attended the Paris conference.

"The U.S. is pretty clearly on target to meet its goals," said
Kammen, who adds that pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord would hurt the United States’ international standing and put the U.S. economy at a disadvantage behind China and other countries investing in clean energy technology.

"The largest consequence is really lost economic opportunity for the United States because this has become a core industry in many countries ironically including in the United States," said Kammen, "There's a real way this puts a brake on the clean tech sector, right at a time when the rest of the world is doubling or tripling down on these technologies."

Some Trump supporters say the accord is unfair to the U.S.

"All the burden once again is on the United States to adhere to things that other countries are not willing to do. And I think this president is looking at this and saying, I'm here as the President of the United States. Is this the best thing for our country?" said Corey Lewandowski, a former Trump campaign manager.

Michael Brune, the Sierra Club Executive Director, says local and state community leaders, non-profits and private companies will need to do more if the President decides to withdraw from the accord.

"The city of San Francisco has already made the commitment to got to 100% clean energy. San Jose has made that commitment, but also Apple has made that commitment, Google, Facebook, Walgreens, Starbucks."

Brune says the Sierra Club is part of a coalition that will discuss the issue with mayors across the nation in an upcoming conference in Florida.

California Governor Jerry Brown, who is preparing for a visit to China, says he will continue to combat climate change regardless of President Trump's decision.

"That's the future. That's where the jobs are and that's where China sees it, that's where Europe sees it and together we will fight Trump and we will get the job done. And that's why I'm going to China because in Washington they've lost their mind."