By Staff and agencies, Sunday 13 November 2016 09.02 GMT Last modified on Sunday 13 November 2016 09.39 GMT
The president-elect wants to bypass the theoretical four-year procedure to exit the accord, according to a Reuters source.
Indigenous people from the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests protest at the climate change talks in Marrakech, Morocco.
Donald Trump is looking at quick ways of withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement in defiance of widening international backing for the plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Reuters has reported.
Since the US president-elect was chosen, governments ranging from China to small island states have reaffirmed support for the 2015 Paris agreement at 200-nation climate talks running until 18 November in Marrakesh, Morocco.
But, according to Reuters, a source in the Trump transition team said the victorious Republican, who has called global warming a hoax, was considering ways to bypass a theoretical four-year procedure for leaving the accord. “It was reckless for the Paris agreement to enter into force before the election,” said the source, who works on Trump’s transition team for international energy and climate policy, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Paris agreement went into force on 4 November, four days before last Tuesday’s election.
Alternatives were to send a letter withdrawing from a 1992 convention that is the parent treaty of the Paris agreement, voiding US involvement in both in a year’s time, or to issue a presidential order simply deleting the US signature from the Paris accord, the source told Reuters.
Many nations have expressed hopes the United States will stay. Morocco, the host for the talks, said the agreement that seeks to phase out greenhouse gases in the second half of the century was strong enough to survive a pullout.
“If one party decides to withdraw that it doesn’t call the agreement into question,” foreign minister Salaheddine Mezouar told a news conference.
Despite the threat of a US withdrawal, US secretary of state John Kerry said on Sunday that he would continue his efforts to implement the Paris agreement until Barack Obama leaves office on 20 January.
Speaking in New Zealand following a trip to Antarctica, Kerry appeared to take a swipe at Trump when he listed some of the ways in which global warming could already be seen. He said that there were more fires, floods and damaging storms around the world, and sea levels were rising.
“The evidence is mounting in ways that people in public life should not dare to avoid accepting as a mandate for action,” Kerry said.
“Now the world’s scientific community has concluded that climate change is happening beyond any doubt. And the evidence is there for everybody to see,” Kerry said.
The Paris agreement was reached by almost 200 nations in December and, as of Saturday, has been formally ratified by 109 representing 76% of greenhouse gas emissions, including the United States with 18%.
The accord seeks to hold global warming to no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels to limit rising temperatures that have been linked to increasing economic damage from desertification, extinctions of animals and plants, heat waves, floods and rising sea levels. United Nations climate chief Patricia Espinosa declined to comment on the Trump source’s remarks to Reuters.
“The Paris agreement carries an enormous amount of weight and credibility,” she told a news conference. She said the UN hoped for a strong and constructive relationship with Trump. The Trump source blamed US president Barack Obama for joining up by an executive order, without getting approval from the Senate. “There wouldn’t be this diplomatic fallout on the broader international agenda if Obama hadn’t rushed the adoption,” he said.