Donald Trump withdraws US from Paris climate deal

Donald Trump has confirmed he will withdraw the US from the Paris climate change agreement.

Mr Trump said the Paris agreement disadvantaged the United States, and that he hoped to seek "a better deal".

"We're getting out," he said.

"The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction, on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers."

The United States will cease implementation of non-binding elements of the accord "as of today".

The Paris deal "hamstrings the United States while empowering some of the world's top polluting countries" and any new agreement would need the burdens and responsibilities equally shared by nations around the world, he said.

The 2015 accord united most of the world in a single agreement to mitigate climate change for the first time. It was signed by 195 countries out of 197 in a UN group on climate change, with Syria and Nicaragua abstaining.

Hours before the announcement, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres made a last-minute plea to the United States to remain committed to the landmark climate pact.

Mr Guterres said that as the world's largest economy, US support was crucial.

"But independently of the decision of the American government, it's important that all other governments stay the course.

"The Paris agreement is essential for our collective future and it's also important that American society - like all other societies, the business community - mobilise themselves in order to preserve the Paris agreement as a central piece to guarantee the future of our children and grandchildren."

Chinese and EU leaders are set to agree a joint statement backing the Paris agreement, saying it is "an imperative more important than ever".

The draft statement says rising temperatures affect national security and increase "social and political fragility", while the transition to clean energy creates jobs and economic growth, the BBC reports.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has said his country will honour its commitments on climate change.

Speaking on a visit to Germany, he said fighting climate change was in China's own interests.

"China will continue to implement the promises made in the Paris accord. But of course we also hope to do this with the co-operation of others," Mr Li said.

As a big developing country, China had an "international responsibility" to try to prevent climate change, he added.

China overtook the US as the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2007.

Russia also said it would stick to its climate commitments, but said the Paris agreement would be affected by a US pullout.

"It goes without saying that the effectiveness of this convention is likely to be reduced without its key participants," a Kremlin spokesman said.

Mr Trump's refusal to commit to the Paris agreement caused frustration at a G7 meeting last week, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel describing the discussion as "difficult, not to say dissatisfying".