As President Donald Trump is deciding whether the US should remain in the Paris climate deal, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres is calling on the world to unite to fight the "unprecedented and growing threat" of climate change.
The administration's decision comes after months of internal debate and speculation about what Trump, who campaigned on leaving the deal, would do once he took office. The move comes on the heels of a war of words between Trump and the German leadership, triggered by the president's refusal to confirm US support for the deal during the recently concluded G7 summit in Italy.
White House officials cautioned that details were still being hammered out and that, although close, the decision on withdrawing from the 195-nation accord - agreed to in Paris in 2015 - was not finalised.
He has also had backlash against his business form anti-Trump customers because of his involvement with the White House. However, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former chief executive of Exxon, said he supports staying in the deal.
Senior adviser Jared Kushner, Mr Trump's son-in-law, generally thinks the deal is bad but would still like to see if emissions targets can be changed.
As the US flirts with fleeing the Paris climate-change accord, Canada is aligning itself with the world's other two largest economies to take a global leadership role in the effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
The White House said Trump spoke with the leaders of Germany, France, Canada and Britain Thursday to explain his decision and reassured them that the U.S.is committed to the trans-Atlantic alliance and "robust efforts to protect the environment".
BC premier welcomes feds $876M in softwood help
The package was announced just hours after Freeland returned from Washington after two days of meetings with U.S. Softwood lumber, which includes pine and other varieties, is heavily used in the construction of new homes.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has weighed in, arguing on Tuesday that the United States should not leave the Paris Agreement.
"A stunning abdication of American leadership and a grave threat to our planet's future".
"We have to understand that if climate change is not addressed, one of the greatest coastal cities on the Earth will be increasingly threatened", he said.
White House economic adviser Gary Cohn told reporters last week that Trump would prioritize economic growth over global warming if the two came into conflict.
He added he would have "no choice" but to depart Trump's advisory councils if the United States pulled out of the climate deal. Supporters of the deal say it's not an either-or choice.
But Cohn, Trump's chief White House economic adviser, told reporters during the trip overseas that the president's views on climate change were "evolving" following the discussions with European leaders. He has spent his first months in office working to delay and roll back federal regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions while pledging to revive long-struggling USA coal mines.
President Trump however, has sided with the 22 Republican senators who reportedly urged him May 25 via a letter to leave the Paris Climate Change Accord.