Trump announces withdrawal from Paris climate accord, but says U.S. will begin negotiations to re-enter

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on Donald Trump and climate change (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is offering the thoughts and prayers of the American people to those affected by an attack at a tourist resort in the Philippines.

Trump says Thursday that “it is really very sad as to what’s going on throughout the world with terror.”

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Trump says he is “closely monitoring the situation” and will continue to provide updates.

Gunshots and explosions rang out early Friday at a mall, casino and hotel complex near Manila’s international airport in the Philippine capital, sparking a security alarm amid an ongoing Muslim militant siege in the country’s south.

Trump says, “Our thoughts and our prayers and with all of those affected.”

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3:45 p.m.

Former President Barack Obama says the Trump administration is joining “a small handful of nations that reject the future” by withdrawing from the Paris climate change pact.

Obama is defending the deal that his administration painstakingly negotiated. He says the countries that stay in the Paris deal will “reap the benefits in “jobs and industries created.” He says the U.S. should be “at the front of the pack.”

The former president says in a statement that Trump’s decision reflects “the absence of American leadership.” But Obama says he’s confident nonetheless that U.S. cities, states and businesses will fill the void by taking the lead on protecting the climate.

Obama says that businesses have chosen “a low-carbon future” and are already investing heavily in renewable sources like wind and solar.

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3:40 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence says President Donald Trump is “choosing to put American jobs and American consumers first” with his announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris accord.

Pence introduced Trump in the Rose Garden Thursday. Trump is expected to announce that the U. S. will withdraw from the Paris global climate pact. That’s according to a White House official, congressional officials and others briefed by the White House.

Pence praised Trump’s leadership and said Trump is “is choosing to put the forgotten men and women of America first.”

Abandoning the pact was one of Trump’s principal campaign pledges.

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2: 45 p.m.

President Donald Trump will announce that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris climate change accord.

That’s according to multiple congressional officials and others briefed by the White House on the decision.

According to those briefed, Trump will argue that the Paris pact is a bad deal for American workers and was poorly negotiated by the Obama administration.

Those briefed by the White House insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the matter ahead of Trump’s announcement Thursday afternoon in the Rose Garden.

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2:35 p.m.

Five Nordic countries have written a last-minute letter to President Donald Trump urging him to “make the right decision” and keep America signed onto the Paris climate accord.

The leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden say the 2015 Paris Agreement to reduce global warming was a commitment “to our children.”

In a letter sent hours before Trump was due to announce on Thursday whether the U.S. would pull out of the accord, the five leaders say the effects of global warming are already visible in all parts of our planet.

They say it’s “crucial.. that all parties stick to the Paris Agreement.”

The letter is signed “Your Nordic Friends” and urges Trump “to show global leadership – and to make the right decision.”

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7:45 a.m.

The Kremlin says Russia is committed to the Paris climate change accords.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said that Russia “thinks highly” of the accords and there is no alternative to it. But he added that its implementation will not be as effective “without the key signatories.” Peskov said Russia has yet to see what announcement Trump makes.

Putin is meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi later on Thursday. Modi on Wednesday expressed India’s commitment to fighting climate change and said it would be a “crime” to spoil the environment for future generations.

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5:13 a.m.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says fighting climate change is a “global consensus” and an “international responsibility.”

Speaking in Berlin about the Paris climate change accord, he said that “China in recent years has stayed true to its commitment.”

Without mentioning the U.S. specifically, he said China has been “actively promoting the Paris agreement and we were one of the first countries to ratify the Paris agreement.”

He added: “Fighting climate change is a global consensus, it’s not invented by China… and we realize that this is a global consensus agreement and that as a big developing nation we should shoulder our international responsibility.”

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4:45 a.m.

China says it will work with the European Union to uphold the international agreement on climate change even if the U.S. pulls out.

President Donald Trump is expected to announce his decision on whether to abandon the Paris climate accord Thursday.

While not mentioning the U.S. by name, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying tells reporters climate change is a “global challenge” that no country can ignore.

At a regularly scheduled news conference Thursday, Hua said: “No matter whether other countries’ positions may change, we will continue to uphold” a model of sustainable development. China is the top emitter of man-made carbon dioxide emissions, and the United States is second.

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3:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump will announce his decision on whether to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord during a Rose Garden event Thursday afternoon.

Trump promoted his announcement Wednesday night on Twitter, after a day in which U.S. allies around the world sounded alarms about the likely consequences of a U.S. withdrawal. Trump himself kept everyone in suspense, saying he was still listening to “a lot of people both ways.”

The White House signaled that Trump was likely to decide on exiting the global pact – fulfilling one of his principal campaign pledges – though top aides were divided. And the final decision may not be entirely clear-cut: Aides were still deliberating on “caveats in the language,” one official said.

Everyone cautioned that no decision was final until Trump announced it. The president has been known to change his thinking on major decisions and tends to seek counsel from both inside and outside advisers, many with differing agendas, until the last minute.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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