President Donald Trump has reportedly told close advisers that he intends to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate deal.
The decision would be a huge blow to the global accord, in which all but two world countries (Nicaragua and Syria) have committed to limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees.
This would be achieved by each nation voluntarily reducing greenhouse gas emissions that the scientific community says is causing the earth to warm, contributing to climate change that could have disastrous implications for the Earth.
On Twitter Wednesday, Trump said he would be announcing his decision in the coming days. But Axios reported that he's already made the decision to withdraw, citing "two sources with direct knowledge of the decision."
The Associated Press however notes that there may be "caveats in the language" to America's withdrawal from the agreement, that could leave "open the possibility that the decision isn't final."
CNN notes that on Tuesday Trump met with Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, who advocates for withdrawing from the deal, and on Wednesday will meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who supports remaining in the deal.
There are two ways in which the U.S. could withdraw from the agreement: either by initiating a three-year withdrawal period from the Paris accord itself, or by immediately exiting the United Nations climate change treaty on which the accord was based, Politico reports.
The U.S. is the world's second largest emitter of carbon, one of the most prevalent greenhouse gases, and withdrawal would be a major blow to the agreement that was pushed by former President Barack Obama. Politico noted that it could threaten the resolve of other major polluters like China and India to remain in the deal.
But reports suggest that China and the European Union, at least, are determined to stay in the accord.
Since taking office, Trump has also sought to roll back several environmental protections put in place by Obama before leaving the White House, as reported by the Washington Post.
The U.N. wasn't happy upon hearing the news.