The United States is on track to meet the goals set by the Paris climate deal, despite President Trump's decision to withdraw his country from the deal, the UN secretary general said Thursday.
Following the announcement of Donald Trump in June 2017, cities, states, businesses across the country, pledged to honor the goals set in the French capital at the end of 2015.
"There are hopes that, regardless of the government's position, the United States could be able to meet the commitments made in Paris as a country," UN chief Antonio Guterres told reporters, as per LaPresse.
"We have seen in the cities, and we have seen in many states, a very strong commitment to the Paris agreement so that some signs are even moving in a better direction than was the case recently," Guterres said.
Under this agreement, at the time of the Obama administration, the United States committed itself to a reduction of 26 percent to 28 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 compared to 2005.
Nearly 200 countries and organizations had agreed in Paris, after intense negotiations, pledging for the reduction of carbon emissions, up to 2030.
President Trump justified his withdrawal, which provoked an international outcry, blaming a "bad deal" on the US economy.
Knowing that it takes three years for a signatory before being able to signify its withdrawal from the Paris agreement and another year before it is effective, the exit of the United States could only take concrete action in November 2020.
But the Trump administration has other levers to hobble the fight against global warming, as reported on Thursday in the New York Times, indicating that the White House is preparing to relax the regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse and fuel consumption of vehicles, as per LaPresse.
According to a spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), quoted anonymously by the New York daily, the White House should present a plan to relax the current regulations, which would be a victory for the industry and potentially lead to reduced requirements on these topics worldwide.
The international community wants to limit the rise in temperatures to 2-degree Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era, but the UN boss warned that more efforts were needed to achieve this goal in 2020.
Climate change is "the most systemic threat to the human species," Antonio Guterres warned, adding that recent data on extreme weather events have shown that "2017 was (a year) full of climate chaos".
The UN chief plans to hold a major summit next year to take stock of progress in implementing the climate agreement.