World leaders reaffirm commitment to fighting climate change

The Paris Agreement commits signatories to limiting average global warming to two degrees Celsius over pre Industrial Revolution levels

An American withdrawal, promised by Trump during the 2016 US presidential campaign, would deepen a rift with USA allies and put the United States in the same league as Syria and Nicaragua as the world's only non-participants in the landmark 195-nation accord agreed upon in Paris in 2015.

Carbon dioxide stays in the air for 100 years, and about one-fifth of what has accumulated in the atmosphere came from the USA, more than any other country.

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.

The United States, along with more than 190 other countries, signed the agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2015. "It is of crucial importance that all parties stick to the Paris Agreement".

Analysis by the Climate Interactive team said if the US dropped out of the Paris Agreement and took no action, global temperatures could rise 0.3 degrees higher compared to if they stayed. The president has also been known to change his mind on major decisions at the last minute.

Germany's Angela Merkel, who in the past has been dubbed the "climate chancellor" for her efforts to fight global warming, said her country would "continue to fulfil our obligations under the Paris climate agreement as part of the European framework". "But we'll take matters into our own hands".

The White House was initially slated to make a final decision on the climate accord earlier this month, but delayed the decision until the G7 meeting in Sicily.

While travelling overseas last week, Mr Trump was repeatedly pressed to stay in the deal by European leaders as well as Pope Francis. By pulling out of the Paris Agreement, Trump will make the United States the world's foremost climate villain.

"Will @realDonaldTrump invite his granddaughter to sit on his lap as he signs the EO pulling the USA out of the Paris Climate Accord?" the user tweeted, to which Kerry replied: "Good question".

But Trump campaigned on a promise to nix the deal, saying it would mean stricter environmental policies that would hobble the economy and cost jobs.

For China, the No. 1 polluter, having overtaken the United States, the goal was for emissions to peak by 2030 and then start dropping, reducing the amount of carbon pollution per person to about 60 percent of 2005 levels. The rest of the world must move forward aggressively without the world's leading historical contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. The president of Exxon Mobil wrote Trump personally stressing the importance of maintaining a seat at the global negotiating table.

He told audience members it was important the US not leave the Paris Accord, but that should Mr Trump does leave, it was vital USA society as a whole - the cities, the states, the companies, the businesses - remain engaged.

Should the United States pull out of the pact and seek to protect old-school jobs in coal and oil, it would risk losing the chance to lead the world in developing environmentally friendly technology - and generate the jobs that come with it.

EU officials say they will bring up the South China Sea in the talks on Friday, but they will be wary to avoid a repeat of last year's tense EU-China summit in Beijing, which failed to agree a joint statement because of the maritime issue.

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