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The Latest: Trump speaks with key leaders about Paris accord


The Latest on Donald Trump and climate change (all times local) :
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on Donald Trump and climate change (all times local) : 6: 45 p.m. The White House says President Donald Trump spoke with the leaders of Germany, France, Canada and Britain Thursday to explain his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. The White House says the president thanked the leaders for holding “frank, substantive discussions” with him on the issue. He reassured them that the U. S. is committed to the trans-Atlantic alliance and “robust efforts to protect the environment, ” according to the White House readout of the call. Trump also vowed that the U. S. will be “the cleanest and most environmentally friendly country on Earth” going forward. The president met with all four leaders last week at the NATO and Group of 7 summits in Europe. ___ 6: 20 p.m. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner did not attend President Donald Trump’s announcement that the U. S. would exit the climate agreement. A White House official said the couple attended service at synagogue for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. Ivanka Trump went home to observe the holiday with her children, while Kushner walked to work and had a longstanding meeting scheduled at the same time as Trump’s remarks. The official said Kushner was involved with the president’s announcement. The official was not authorized to discuss their movements and insisted on anonymity. Ivanka Trump had favored staying in the deal. Kushner thought the deal was bad but would have stayed in with adjusted emissions targets. – By Catherine Lucey ___ 5: 50 p.m. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto tweets his city stands with the world and he’ll follow the guidelines of the Paris agreement “for our people, our economy & future.” Peduto was responding to President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, and Trump’s statement that he was elected to “represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” The Democrat also had this to say: “Fact: Hillary Clinton received 80% of the vote in Pittsburgh.” ___ 5: 50 p.m. General Motors Co. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said she will remain a part of President Trump’s Strategy and Policy Forum despite President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U. S. from the Paris climate agreement. In a statement, the automaker said the forum “provides GM a seat at an important table to contribute to a constructive dialogue about key policy issues.” But in a separate statement, GM says: “International agreements aside, we remain committed to creating a better environment.” Ford Motor Co. said it will also continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its plants and from its vehicles. Says Ford: “We believe climate change is real.” ___ 5: 30 p.m. A group of Democratic governors say President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement will encourage states to do more to fight climate change. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says in a conference call with reporters that states are free to act on their own to reduce pollution. Inslee says Washington state, New York and California are forming the United States Climate Alliance, a coalition that will convene states committed to working to uphold the Paris climate agreement. He says, if anything, Trump’s move “will give us additional political impetus” to address climate change. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says Trump’s decision is a “disgrace” and the president has sided with Nicaragua, Syria and oil barons with his decision. ___ 5: 30 p.m. Cabinet secretaries whose departments don’t deal primarily with environmental policy are praising President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords. Echoing White House talking points, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price released a statement that called the climate accords “a bad deal for the American people.” He added: “I applaud President Trump’s leadership and the actions he is taking.” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos also issued a statement in support of Trump’s decision, calling it “one more example of his commitment to rolling back the unrealistic and overreaching regulatory actions by the previous administration.” Added DeVos: “President Trump is making good on his promise to put America and American workers first.” ___ 5: 30 p.m. The United Nations body tasked with tackling climate change says it is ready to talk with the United States about the implications of President Donald Trump’s announcement to pull out of the Paris agreement. The Bonn, Germany-based UNFCCC said in a statement Thursday that it regrets Trump’s announcement. The agency noted that Trump said he wanted to renegotiate U. S. participation in the agreement. It receives more than 20 percent of its funding from Washington. The UNFCCC says it stands “ready to engage in dialogue with the United States government regarding the implications of this announcement.” __ 5: 15 p.m. U. N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling the U. S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement “a major disappointment.” He says through a spokesman it’s “crucial that the United States remains a leader on environmental issues.” Spokesman Stephane Dujarric (steh-FAHN’ doo-ZHAR’-ihk) said Thursday the U. N. chief believes the transformation envisioned in the accord is already underway. Dujarric says the secretary-general is confident that cities, states and businesses around the world “will continue to demonstrate vision and leadership by working for the low-carbon, resilient economic growth that will create quality jobs and markets for 21st century prosperity.” He said the secretary-general “looks forward to engaging with the American government and all actors in the United States and around the world to build the sustainable future on which our grandchildren depend.” ___ 5: 15 p.m. The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, is urging countries to work together on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, even as President Donald Trump said he’s pulling the United States out of an international agreement to combat climate change. Walmart says international cooperation “is a laudable and necessary goal.” The company earlier this year launched Project Gigaton, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout its supply chain by 1 billion tons by 2030. The company says, “Our commitments to renewable energy and emission reductions have been embedded in our business for more than a decade, and we believe they are good for our customers, good for our business and good for our environment.” Walmart spokesman Greg Hitt says they see those commitments as “outside politics” and don’t expect to change them. ___ 5: 10 p.m. Former Vice President Joe Biden is joining in a chorus of Democrats opposed to President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. Biden says on Twitter: “We’re already feeling impacts of climate change.” The former vice president says that exiting the agreement “imperils U. S. security and our ability to own the clean energy future.” Biden as vice president supported former President Barack Obama’s efforts to take part in the Paris accord and fight the effects of climate change. ___ 5 p.m. The leaders of France, Germany and Italy say the Paris climate accord cannot be renegotiated as President Donald Trump has demanded. French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said in a joint statement Thursday that they take note “with regret” the U. S. decision to pull out of the 2015 agreement. The three leaders say they regard the accord as “a cornerstone in the cooperation between our countries, for effectively and timely tackling climate change.” They added that the course charted by the accord is “irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated.” Macron, Merkel and Gentiloni say they remain committed to the deal and will “step up efforts” to support the poorest and most threatened nations. ___ 5 p.m. Microsoft’s President Brad Smith tweeted that the company is “disappointed” by President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. Smith says Microsoft will keep working to achieve the accord’s goals. In an emailed statement, retail giant Amazon says it also still supports the climate agreement, and that clean-energy policies are good for American jobs and innovation. ___ 4: 55 p.m. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN’-geh-lah MEHR’-kuhl) says she regrets President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord. Her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Thursday on Twitter that Merkel would continue to put all efforts into climate policy “to save our Earth.” Social Democratic members of Merkel’s Cabinet issued a separate joint statement saying “the United States is harming itself, us Europeans and all other people in the world.” The ministers, including Germany’s top diplomat Sigmar Gabriel, said Trump’s move threatened economic growth and technical progress. They called the decision “a political error, because it calls the international reliability of treaties into question.” The ministers said they would “keep the door open” for the U. S. to rejoin the Paris accord again. ___ 4: 50 p.m. Congressional Republicans are applauding President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but Democrats are slamming the decision. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Trump has “put families and jobs ahead of left-wing ideology and should be commended.” House Speaker Paul Ryan says that “the Paris climate agreement was simply a raw deal for America.” But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York says the move is “a devastating failure of historic proportions” – and “one of the worst policy moves made in the 21st century.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California says it’s “a stunning abdication of American leadership and a grave threat to our planet’s future.” ___ 4: 50 p.m. Energy Secretary Rick Perry says President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement means the U.

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