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Macron urges US not to rush into Paris climate decision

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U.S. President Trump and French President Macron shake hands before a working lunch ahead of a NATO Summit in Brussels REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said he hoped US President Donald Trump would not rush into deciding on what to do with the Paris climate agreement.
 


"My wish is that the United States takes no hurried decision," Macron told a news briefing after talks with Trump, in which the two leaders discussed Washington's doubts over the 196-nation climate pact reached in late 2015.

This as the White House claimed that US compliance with its commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change would be "crippling" to growth.

During his election campaign, avowed climate sceptic Donald Trump promised to exit the 2015 UN pact on limiting global warming.

But Trump has now said he will make a decision after returning to Washington following the G7 summit in Sicily which starts Friday, at the end of his international tour.

"We know that the levels that were agreed to by the prior administration would be highly crippling to the US economic growth," Trump's economic advisor Gary Cohn said.

"The president has told you that he's going to ultimately make a decision on Paris and climate when he gets back. He's interested to hear what the G7 leaders have to say about climate," said Cohn, speaking aboard the presidential Air Force One.

"It will be a fairly robust discussion on that. We know that because we had it today with the French president, we had it with the Belgians, we had it with all the bilaterals we've had," he added.

Trump "wants to do the right thing for the environment. He cares about the environment. But he also cares very much about creating jobs for American workers," said the advisor to a Republican president who has declared the end to a "war on coal".

Under President Barack Obama, the US, with world's second biggest carbon emitter, pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

A solution discussed in Washington could be to remain in the Paris Agreement but launch a re-examination of US objectives.