White House official: Trump plans to pull U.S. from Paris deal

But officials cautioned that details were still being finalized.

Trump has said he will announce his decision on the climate deal later Thursday.

Two major news outlets - Axis and CBS News - reported that the US President had made a decision to withdraw from the climate change agreement and the administration has been informing world leaders about it. A 2015 report by Stanford University's Marshall Burke and the University of California, Berkeley's Sol Hsiang and Ted Miguel found the climate change could slash 20 percent from global economic output by 2100 - more than five times previous estimates.

The comments came after media reports said Mr Trump would withdraw from the global agreement to curb emissions.

"This gives us the best possible shot to save the one planet we've got", Obama said as the deal was ratified in October.

They say the agreement would likely help create about as many jobs in renewable energy as it might cost in polluting industries, the Associated Press reported. "If we can't, that's fine", he said.

White House sources said on Wednesday morning that Mr Trump will formally withdraw the U.S. from the deal, although NBC have reported that the President is yet to reach a final decision.

Mr Trump's position on the Paris accord was a focal point of last week's G7 summit in Sicily, at which leaders of the world's six other leading economies pressed him to renew the USA commitment to the deal.

If he does pull the United States, the world's second largest greenhouse gas polluter, from the accord it would leave just America, Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations not committed.

Other major tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google and Salesforce, have put their names to a full-page ad that will run on Thursday in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, calling on Trump to "advance United States interests by remaining a full partner in this vital global effort".

Johnson told Sky News that Britain still wants the U.S.to take the lead in fighting climate change and called on individual US states to keep making progress on that front.

On Wednesday evening, Juncker said that the deal, which is backed by almost 200 other countries, is "not only about the future of Europeans but, above all, the future of people elsewhere". "This notion, 'I am Trump, I am American, America first and I am getting out, ' that is not going to happen".

Trump's top aides were divided on the issue; some advocated withdrawal, others urged him to stay.

Quitting the Paris accord may not resonate with members of Trump's Republican Party as much as his administration expects. He appointed a prominent climate skeptic to run the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, and is rolling back the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, which was set to reduce power usage by coal plants in favor of cleaner forms of energy. Senior adviser Jared Kushner generally thinks the deal is bad but still would like to see if emissions targets can be changed. The official, who is involved in preparing the meeting between European Union officials and China's premier, was not authorized to speak publicly and discussed the matter on condition of anonymity because the meeting statement was not finalized.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has weighed in, arguing on Tuesday that the United States should not leave the Paris Agreement.

Climate change, or global warming, refers to the damaging effect of gases, or emissions, released from industry and agriculture on the atmosphere.

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

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Britain would continue to press the U.S.to reduce risky emissions even if Trump pulls out.

The United States committed to reduce its emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

Under the Paris Accord, almost 200 nations agreed in 2015 to voluntarily cut greenhouse gas emissions in a landmark agreement to fight climate change.

News of Trump's expected decision drew swift reaction from the United Nations.

"If one country decides to leave a void, I can guarantee someone else will occupy it", United Nations Secretary Antonio Gutierres reportedly said in a speech in NY on Tuesday. Here to explain is Joanna Lewis, an associate professor of science, technology, and global affairs at Georgetown University, who has written widely about China's role in climate change and is author of "Green Innovation in China". "Climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable". Without the legal mechanisms to restrain energy producers, like coal mines, scientists calculate the US could emit an additional 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year, the Associated Press reported.

Trump has repeatedly expressed doubts about climate change, at times calling it a hoax to weaken U.S. industry. He has spent his first months in office working to delay and roll back federal regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions while pledging to revive long-struggling USA coal mines.

"The Paris Agreement was signed by 196 countries and is the backbone of global action to tackle the greatest challenge facing our civilization: climate change".

Still, Cohn said that the carbon levels agreed to by the prior administration "would be highly crippling to the US economic growth", and if the president had to choose between limiting carbon and economic growth, "growing our economy is going to win".

Economists say that leaving the Paris deal and easing efforts to control emissions would hardly deliver a big payoff in jobs.

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