China overtook the United States as the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2007.
"That process will proceed despite this ' decision by the Trump administration, and I hope states around the country join Virginia in showing Washington the way forward on this critical issue for our nation and our world". That means the USA could stay in the accord and choose not to hit its goals or stay in the pact but adjust its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
"We have already begun to experience the effects of climate change in Pittsburgh with colder winters, and we know Pennsylvania can expect longer and hotter summers, decreased winter snowpack and increased rainfall", the city's website says.
The Republican vowed during the campaign to "cancel" the Paris deal within 100 days of becoming president on January 20, part of an effort to bolster US oil and coal industries. While NASA's contracting decisions are supposed to be apolitical, Musk can't be sure that burning bridges with the Trump administration won't hurt SpaceX's chances of getting government contracts in the future.
Former President Barack Obama ratified the US's adoption of the agreement in September 2016, but he didn't submit it to Congress for approval.
And European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker declared Europe was ready to act as a global climate leader in the USA absence.
The official insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the decision before the official announcement. A White House official said the couple instead attended service at synagogue for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. "It is a tough reality which affects peoples' daily lives", European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said in a statement.More news: 'Big story' unmasking, surveillance during Obama administration
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A dozen large groups including oil major BP, agrochemical giant DuPont, Google, Intel and Microsoft, have urged Trump to remain part of the deal. Apple CEO Tim Cook urged him to reconsider, while Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he'd spoken to Trump weeks ago about the agreement and was "cautiously optimistic".
Trump's decision marked "a sad day for the global community", said Miguel Arias Canete, climate action commissioner for the European Union. The multi-company mogul said that leaving "Paris is not good for America or the world". He said the US would try to re-enter but only if it can get more favourable terms.
White House officials were unable to provide firm details about how and when the United States would leave, but acknowledged that under the deal, formal withdrawal may not take place until after the 2020 election. Trump was pressured heavily by his foreign counterparts during last week's G7 meetings in Sicily to remain in the deal, but his advisers say he felt little obligation to concede to that point of view.
"We are here together because we believe that for all the challenges that we face, the growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other challenge", President Obama said at the time.
In a statement, Obama said that he believes the United States should "be at the front of the pack" of nations working on curbing climate change.
"We will continue to lobby the Americans and the White House to show the leadership they have shown in the past on reducing CO2", he said.
Under the Paris climate accord, nearly 200 nations agreed in 2015 to voluntarily cut greenhouse gas emissions in a landmark agreement to fight climate change.