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What's the Paris climate deal without the US?

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What's the Paris climate deal without the US?

WATCH | President Trump is expected to announce he is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. Here are five big impacts of that decision.

UPDATE 7:00 a.m. ET::

President Trump will make an announcement Thursday at 3 p.m. ET in the Rose Garden on the Paris climate deal.  "I'm hearing from a lot of people both ways," Trump said during a meeting with Vietnam's prime minister at the White House Wednesday..

Original story:

Multiple news outlets on Wednesday reported that Trump will formally withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate deal sometime this week. 

Trump had promised to do so during his presidential campaign. He argued the deal harmed the U.S. economy and slowed job growth. 

Earlier this year, Trump said he would make a final decision on the deal after returning from a G-7 summit in Italy. 

What's the Paris Agreement?

It's a deal signed by 195 countries committing them to lower their carbon emission levels. The goal is to lower global emissions enough to prevent average global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. 

Under the Obama administration, the U.S. agreed to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. 

Here are five big impacts if the U.S. withdraws from the deal.

1. More carbon emissions 

The first and most obvious consequence of leaving a deal meant to curb carbon emissions is.... more carbon emissions. But how much more? 

The U.S. accounts for about 20 percent of global carbon emissions, according to a study from the University of California Berkley

Some scientists estimate the U.S. could emit up to 3 billion tons more carbon dioxide each year if it abandons the climate agreement. 

2. Rising temperatures 

Scientists say more carbon emissions means warming temperatures.

Scientists working on the Climate Action Tracker, an independent computer simulator program that tracks climate action, estimates temperatures could increase, on average, by 0.18 to 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 if the U.S. withdraws from the Paris agreement. 

That means polar ice caps would melt faster, causing sea levels to rise and triggering more severe weather.

3. More countries could follow 

The Paris Climate Agreement is not legally binding. That means other countries that were reluctant to join could now follow the U.S.' lead and scale back their emissions pledges -- or withdraw completely. 

President Xi Jinping of China -- the world's largest carbon emitter -- has promised that his country will continue to take steps to curb emissions.

But experts still worry that the U.S.' absence will weaken the deal.

“There needs to be transparent reporting on countries’ greenhouse gas emissions. If the U.S. is not part of that negotiation, that’s a loss for the world," Todd Stern, the lead climate change negotiator under the Obama administration, told the New York Times


4. Diplomatic blowback

Foreign policy experts say withdrawal from the deal could damage the U.S.' credibility on the world stage. That means other countries might be wary of U.S. promises when it comes to military aid, trade deals, and other negotiations. 

Many other countries care deeply about climate change and could see the U.S. exit as a major diss. 

"The president's exit from Paris would be read as a kind of 'drop dead' to the rest of the world," Stern wrote for the Atlantic


5. More fossil fuels 

Trump has already rolled back many of Obama's policies meant to curb the use of fossil fuels and turn the U.S. toward renewable energy. 

Leaving the Paris deal means less restrictions on oil, coal and natural gas companies. That means more jobs in those industries as well. 

Some big businesses like ExxonMobil and Chevron actually want Trump to stick with the deal, but lawmakers in coal country want more jobs for their constituents.


Trump has not yet made the exit official. He is expected to make an announcement on his decision in the coming days. 

If he does decide to withdraw, it won't happen overnight. It will take several years for the U.S. to formally withdraw. 

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