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White House delays meeting on Paris climate deal

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Eleena Tovar | 15 May, 2017, 19:58

Despite President Donald Trump's threat to pull America from the Paris Agreement, about 3,000 climate negotiators met in the city of Bonn, Germany on Tuesday, to discuss the nitty gritty of the worldwide deal that was negotiated late past year. The U.S. sent 44 official participants just past year.

"We're going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of USA tax dollars to United Nations global warming programs", Trump said in a speech in North Dakota on the campaign trail in 2016.

Xi sent Macron a congratulatory note on Monday, following a presidential election victory hailed in the Chinese nationalist tabloid Global Times as a triumph against the "populism trend" bolstered by Trump.

Patricia Espinosa, the U.N.'s climate chief, told an online news conference that the spirit of the Paris Agreement was for all nations to set ever more ambitious targets.

Trump had earlier vowed during his presidential campaign to "cancel" USA participation in the accord. His top officials have appeared divided about what to do about the deal, under which the us pledged to significantly reduce planet-warming carbon emissions in the coming decade. These organizations include the American Energy Alliance, which yesterday said that remaining a party to the treaty would "undermine the Trump administration's efforts to protect American families from unnecessary and burdensome climate regulations". "U.S. companies are well positioned to lead in these markets".

The perspective comes as the Trump administration is engaged in a fierce internal debate about how to proceed with the Paris climate deal and whether to explore leaving the accord altogether.

The agreement caps and reduces the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), described as the world's fastest-growing climate pollutant, in a gradual process beginning by 2019, with action by developed countries including the United States, the world's second-worst polluter.

According to an analysis by the think tank Climate Interactive, the current Paris agreement pledges would shift the world from a path in which global emissions are expected to rise significantly out to the year 2030 (as economies grow and populations boom), onto one in which emissions remain relatively flat over the next 13 years.

Climate negotiators return for talks in Bonn on Tuesday under the cloud of Donald Trump's threats to pull America from the hard-fought Paris Agreement, as the president prepares to hold a special meeting to discuss USA participation.

The business world is also mobilizing to voice their support for the agreement, which GOP heavyweights and Climate Leadership Council leaders George Shultz and Ted Halstead summarized in a New York Times op-ed.