Britain wants the United States to take a leading role on addressing climate change, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Thursday but he would not be drawn on what his response would be if President Donald Trump pulls out of the Paris accord.
“We’re not there yet. We continue to lobby the US at all levels to continue to take climate change extremely seriously,” Johnson told Sky News.
He added that other countries such as India and China needed to make further progress on reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
The Paris climate pact was the first legally binding global deal to fight climate change.
Virtually every nation voluntarily committed to steps aimed at curbing global emissions of “greenhouse” gases.
These include carbon dioxide generated from burning of fossil fuels that scientists blame for a warming planet, sea level rise, droughts and more frequent violent storms.
The US committed to reduce its emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2025.
Trump will on Thursday announce his decision whether to keep the US in a global pact to fight climate change, as a source close to the matter said he was preparing to pull out of the Paris accord.
He said he would make the announcement at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) in the White House Rose Garden, ending his tweet with “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump blasted the accord, and called global warming a hoax aimed at weakening U.S. industry.
The Republican vowed at the time to “cancel” the Paris deal within 100 days of becoming president on Jan. 20, part of an effort to bolster US oil and coal industries.
A US withdrawal could deepen a rift with US allies.
The US would join Syria and Nicaragua as the world’s only non-participants in the landmark 195-nation accord agreed upon in Paris in 2015.
Trump came under pressure on Wednesday from corporate CEOs, US allies, Democrats and some fellow Republicans to keep the United States in the accord.
Responding to shouted questions earlier on Wednesday from reporters in the White House Oval Office where he met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Trump said: “I’m hearing from a lot of people, both ways.” (NAN)