USA president Donald Trump has said he will announce his decision on the Paris climate accord on Thursday as fears strengthened in the last few days that he will pull out of the historic worldwide agreement to cut greenhouse gases.
A White House official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Trump is expected to withdraw from the deal, though aides cautioned he had not yet made a final decision.
There were also calls for the United Kingdom, which confirmed its commitment to climate action with the other G7 leading nations apart from the USA in recent days, not to do trade deals with America if it pulled out.
But the Trump administration is rolling back a host of other climate regulations, and that impact will start to be felt in a few years. A pullout also would be one more step by the Republican president to erase the legacy of his predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama, who helped broker the accord and praised it during a trip to Europe this month.
"Canada is going to show leadership with China and the European Union and we certainly hope the USA will be joining us", McKenna told The Canadian Press in a recent interview. Presidents have unilaterally exited Senate-ratified treaties before, but it's rare and controversial. "More than 13 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia - many who are children - are dangerously hungry and in need of humanitarian assistance, with climate change making things much worse", said Heather Coleman, Oxfam America's Climate and Energy Director.
But the accord has a number of detractors.
And then, of course, there's the argument advanced by candidate Trump. "U.S. companies are well positioned to lead in these markets".
"We plan later this week to sign an executive order maintaining New York City's commitment to the Paris agreement", he said. He has no science background, yet hubristically clings to his disbelief that human activity is pressing global temperatures higher - he infamously has referred to climate change as a hoax concocted by the Chinese to undercut USA manufacturing.
The emissions goals are voluntary with no real consequences for countries that fail to meet them. Oil companies themselves are planning for the day when global oil consumption begins to ebb and becomes supplanted by less-harmful natural gas - an already profitable portion of their overall business. It also pledged $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund to help poorer countries reduce their own emissions (and has fulfilled $1 billion of that pledge).
Secretary of Defence James Mattis himself, in unpublished testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee shortly following his confirmation hearing in January, affirmed the Pentagon's position that climate change will exacerbate strategic and operational threats overseas and, over time, put American troops in harm's way.
It was steady, principled American leadership on the world stage that made that achievement possible. Numerous officials in President Bashar al-Assad's regime are the subject of global sanctions that limit their movement, and the ongoing, devastating war in the country means the Syrian government isn't paying much attention to limiting its emissions.
The doubters are in the minority.
And yet even Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX who has been pushing the world toward a future of renewable energy, was not able to sway the Trump administration to remain in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Several dozen countries have signed but not fully approved - including Iran, Turkey and, most significantly, Russia, which is a major emitter of greenhouse gases.
Prior to the Paris summit, the so-called "richer" countries committed to mobilize $100 billion of climate finance by 2020.