The statement comes as U.S. President Donald Trump is set to withdraw from the Paris Agreement which aims to phase out net greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of the century and limit global warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.
Trump's decision to leave the agreement will surely anger many members of the global community, including world leaders, environmentalists, and even some fossil fuel companies that wouldn't mind certainty and worldwide support for emissions reductions technologies.
"I hope that the president will be swayed instead by the rather sensible advice he is receiving from his Secretary of State, his Secretary of Defense and his Chief Economic Adviser, who have all recommended against withdrawal", said Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics. Senior adviser Jared Kushner generally thinks the deal is bad but would like to find a way to see if US emissions targets can be changed.
Trump had waffled on his decision whether to keep the U.S. committed to the landmark 2015 agreement or fulfill his campaign promise to pull out. It also makes the U.S.an outlier among the world's nations, almost all of whom support the climate change accord.
The U.N.'s main Twitter page quotes Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as saying: "Climate change is undeniable".
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives in Brussels late Thursday for talks with EU president Donald Tusk and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, with climate change at the top of the agenda. She said the agreement "honors our collective moral responsibility to leave future generations with a planet that is clean, healthy and sustainable".
"Our climate action strategy represents an opportunity to attract investment, innovation and develop new green technologies", he said.
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Trump claimed before taking office that climate change was a "hoax" created by the Chinese to hurt the US economy, an assertion that stands in defiance of broad scientific consensus.
Axios said details of the pullout are being worked out by a team that includes EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Such an assertion stands in defiance of broad scientific consensus. They said the deal would require the USA government to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, which would hurt business.
Senior officials speaking to American news media indicate the decision has already been made, though it is unclear whether Trump will initiate a withdrawal from the Paris agreement itself or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which underpins it and other climate pacts.
Barack Obama, Trump's predecessor, was a leading force behind the Paris agreement, which took effect last November.
The next day, 20 GOP members of Congress sent Trump their own letter, asking him to withdraw from the agreement. Even fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell say the United States should abide by the deal.
The agreement, formed at a United Nations convention in 2015, is a landmark pact for dealing with greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale. Beijing, however, has reaffirmed its commitment to meeting its targets under the Paris accord, recently canceling construction of about 100 coal-fired power plants and investing billions in massive wind and solar projects.