Donald Trump tells 'confidants' US will leave Paris Agreement climate deal

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The G-7 summit marked the last stop of Trump's first overseas trip as president, a grueling nine-day tour that included high-level discussions in the Middle East and with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, as well as a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

President Donald Trump, who once proclaimed global warming a Chinese hoax, said in a tweet Saturday that he would make his "final decision" this coming week on whether the United States stays in or leaves the 2015 Paris climate change accord in which almost every nation agreed to curb its greenhouse gas emissions. They add, however, top political appointees at EPA "were relieved" when Trump refused to join a consensus G7 statement reaffirming "their strong commitment" to the Paris accord.

"The entire discussion about climate was very hard, if not to say very dissatisfying", Merkel told reporters on the sidelines of the summit.

On NATO, US defense chief says: "If you want to take something out of it you've got to put something into it".

Diplomats spent days trying to hammer out language for the G-7 joint statement. At one point this week, the words "Paris Agreement" were almost excluded from the statement, underscoring how contentious the issue became in Taormina, said a Canadian government official who spoke on the condition on anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

Back in 2012, Trump had tweeted: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive", in a comment that was picked up by former presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign past year.

America's exit from the Paris Agreement wouldn't invalidate the accord, which still has the support of most of the world, including China, and is likely to proceed without US participation.

Last week, 22 Republican senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, sent a letter to Trump urging him to exit the Paris accord. "Just this week, members of his administration indicated that the White House had not yet decided what to do on the issue".

The White House did not immediately respond, but Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks said, "I think his tweet was clear".

Aside from a prize issued by a golf association to Trump's New Jersey golf course, The Washington Post's Fact Checker team found no evidence of any environmental awards.

The rules of the NAFTA countdown mean Trudeau and Trump can not talk about specific issues that would be subject to negotiations, even though they did talk about Canada-U.S. trade, including softwood lumber.

"As long-term institutional investors, we believe that the mitigation of climate change is essential for the safeguarding of our investment", said the investors, who represent a combined total of $15 trillion in assets - an amount close to the yearly economic output of the US.

"Europe, Canada and Japan stood up today and made a stand, revealing again how far Trump is out of step with the rest of the world on climate change", Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace's global executive director, said in Sicily.Nevertheless, the clean energy revolution is "unstoppable" with support from other governments and from industry, she said.

"His views are evolving, he came here to learn", Cohn said.

"My sense is the climate train has left the station around the world and even in the United States - particularly at the state level - there's an terrible lot going on", Robertson said.

Trump, who once dismissed global warming as a "hoax", has previously threatened to pull out of the accord.