The Latest: Conway defends Trump pull-out from Paris pact – Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s announcement that he’s pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord. (all times EDT):

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7:40 a.m.

Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says the decision by the Trump administration to get out of the Paris climate change accords is about “fairness” to American workers and businesses.

Asked in a nationally broadcast interview whether President Donald Trump believes in the concept of global warming, Conway demurred, telling her interviewer to ask him.

“The president believes in a clean environment,” she said in an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” Friday.

“Why should we frontload so much of the economic burden in this agreement?” Conway said.

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7:30 a.m.

A Japanese government official says Japan has decided not to join Germany, France and Italy in expressing regret over the decision by President Donald Trump’s to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.

The official, who declined to be identified by name or affiliation and requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the decision, said that Japan chose to issue its own statement, not as part of the group. He declined to give a reason or confirm if any of the three countries had invited Japan to sign a joint statement.

The prime minister’s office said Japan shares the importance of the accord with those countries.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry in a statement earlier Friday said the U.S. withdrawal decision was “regrettable” but hoped to explore ways to cooperate with Washington to address the climate change issues.

–By Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo.

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7 a.m.

A top atmospheric scientist at the U.N.’s weather agency says the “worst-case scenario” caused by the planned U.S. pullout from the Paris climate deal would be a further 0.3-degree Celsius (0.5 Fahrenheit) rise in global temperatures by 2100.

Deon Terblanche of the World Meteorological Organization says many factors affect temperatures, so an additional 0.3-percent increase from the possible U.S. pullout is “probably not what will happen.”

He said Friday that the organization hasn’t run any new scientific models following U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement that U.S. would pull out of the Paris accord.

The 2015 Paris agreement aims to prevent the Earth from heating up by any more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, compared to before the start of the industrial age.

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6:50 a.m.

U.S. taxpayers aren’t the only ones pitching in to a global fund to help poor countries cope with rising seas and fight climate change.

President Donald Trump wants to stop contributing to the U.N.-managed Green Climate Fund, claiming that “nobody else is even close” to the $1 billion the U.S. has paid so far.

Yet other governments with smaller economies than the U.S. have invested significant amounts too.

The fund now has $694 million from Japan, $515 million from Britain, $460 million from Sweden and $420 million from Germany, in addition to contributions from dozens of other countries.

And per capita, some countries are promising much more than the U.S.

The U.S. pledges so far — including the $1 billion already paid and $2 billion promised by the Obama administration — add up to $9 per American, compared to $60 pledged from every Swede and $50 pledged from each Norwegian.

That’s according to figures from the Seoul-based fund, meant to channel money to help poor countries fight and handle climate change.

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6:30 a.m.

A former U.N. special envoy on climate change says the U.S. decision to pull out of the Paris climate deal renders the country “a rogue state on the international stage.”

Mary Robinson spoke as part of a group of global leaders known as The Elders.

In their statement released Friday, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan calls climate change “the great existentialist threat of our time” and that the U.S. withdrawal weakens the Paris accord.

However, he said it does not “trigger its demise.”

In the statement, The Elders also call on U.S. states and businesses to take action where the federal government has withdrawn. They also say the U.S. pullout weakens developing nations’ trust in developed countries over who will fund the billions of dollars needed to combat climate change worldwide.

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6:15 a.m.

The price of oil has fallen sharply as investors bet that President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement will increase the country’s oil and gas production.

The international benchmark for crude oil was down 3 percent, or $1.49 a barrel, at $49.14 on Friday.

Analysts at German bank Commerzbank said in light of Trump’s decision that it now expects the U.S. to expand its oil production “even more sharply.” U.S. oil production has been increasing in recent months since the price of crude came off lows last year.

The increase in U.S. production is neutralizing the efforts of the OPEC cartel and other major oil-producing nations, like Russia, which are limiting their output in the hope of supporting prices.

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5:55 a.m.

Dozens of Greenpeace supporters gathered at the gates of the United States embassy in the Spanish capital to protest President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.

Protesters said that Trump was becoming a “global threat” and “harming the planet” in signs they held Friday morning at the entrance of the embassy in central Madrid.

Greenpeace’s director in Spain Mario Rodriguez said Thursday’s announcement will require U.S. civil society and companies — as well as the rest of the world — to work harder to fight global warming.

“The battle against climate change is irreversible,” Rodriguez said. “Resistance will be maintained because the United States is much more than just the White House and Trump.”

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5:30 a.m.

U.N. Environment chief Erik Solheim says the decision by President Donald Trump to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord “in no way brings an end to this unstoppable effort.”

China, India, the European Union and others are already showing strong leadership, he added.

“A single political decision will not derail this unparalleled effort,” Solheim said in a statement.

In a separate joint statement, the African Union and the European Union reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris accord and noted the “strong solidarity with those most vulnerable to climate change.”

A number of African countries have expressed alarm at rising sea levels and changing weather patterns that have the potential to further disrupt the agriculture that so many on the world’s poorest continent rely on to survive.

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5:25 a.m.

The leader of the country to next hold the rotating presidency of the European Union says the “very bad, very negative” decision of President Donald Trump to pull the United States out of the global climate agreement will force the 28-nation bloc to take a stronger lead on the issue.

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said in an interview with The Associated Press that the Paris accord “was, and still is a very important goal to achieve.”

He stressed all EU nations are sticking together to make the deal work and expressed his doubts that any country around the world would follow Trump’s lead. “I hope that the number is zero,” Ratas said.

Estonia will take over the rotating six-month presidency from Malta at the end of the month.

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5:05 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord “can’t and won’t stop all those of us who feel obliged to protect the planet.”

Merkel said Friday that the announcement by Trump was “extremely regrettable and that’s putting it very mildly.”

But she told reporters in a brief statement that “it’s now necessary to look forward after last night’s announcement by the U.S. administration.”

Merkel says Germany and others “will combine our forces more resolutely than ever … to address and tackle big challenges for humanity such as climate change.”

She adds that “we need this Paris agreement to preserve creation. Nothing can and will stop us from doing so.”

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3:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. could try to re-enter the international climate agreement sealed in Paris if the deal were more favorable to Americans.

Trump indicated that wasn’t a priority as he explained why he was pulling the U.S. out of the Paris accord in the first place. In a Rose Garden announcement Thursday, the president framed the decision as one made in the best interest of his country.

Many U.S. allies are expressing alarm over the U.S. abandoning the chief effort to slow the planet’s warming. The leaders of France, Germany and Italy joined to “note with regret” the Trump decision and express doubts about any change in the accord.

Several of Trump’s top aides also opposed the action, including his daughter Ivanka Trump.

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