Donald Trump is seeking quick ways of withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement

The president-elect has said 'climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese to make US manufacturing non competitive'

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The Independent US

Donald Trump is looking for a fast way to escape a global agreement to limit climate change, a source on his transition team has said.

The Paris Agreement won enough international backing to enter into force on 4 November, and since Mr Trump's remarkable victory more world leaders have backed the plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

But Mr Trump, who once called climate change a “hoax" perpetrated by the Chinese “in order to make US manufacturing non competitive,” has pledged to quit the agreement. 

Countries ranging from China to small island states reaffirmed support for the 2015 accord, at 200-nation climate talks running until 18 November in Marrakesh, Morocco.

But a source who is part of the team helping Mr Trump smoothly assume presidency, told Reuters he is considering ways to bypass a theoretical four-year procedure for leaving the accord.

“It was reckless for the Paris agreement to enter into force before the election” on Tuesday, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

Mr Trump could send a letter withdrawing from a 1992 Convention that is the parent treaty of the Paris Agreement, voiding US involvement in both in a year's time, or issue a presidential order simply deleting the US signature from the Paris accord, the source said.

Many nations have expressed hopes the United States will stay. Host Morocco said the agreement that seeks to phase out greenhouse gases in the second half of the century was strong enough to survive a pullout.

“If one party decides to withdraw that it doesn't call the agreement into question,” Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar told a news conference.

The agreement was reached by almost 200 nations in December and, as of Saturday, has been formally ratified by 109 representing 76 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, including the United States with 18 per cent.   

The accord seeks to limit rising temperatures that have been linked to increasing economic damage from desertification, extinctions of animals and plants, heat waves, floods and rising sea levels.

Current US secretary of state John Kerry said on Sunday that he would continue his efforts to implement the Paris agreement until Barack Obama leaves office on 20 January.

“The evidence is mounting in ways that people in public life should not dare to avoid accepting as a mandate for action,” Mr Kerry said.

“Now the world’s scientific community has concluded that climate change is happening beyond any doubt. And the evidence is there for everybody to see."

UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa declined to comment on Mr Trump source's remarks to Reuters.

“The Paris Agreement carries an enormous amount of weight and credibility,” she told a news conference. She said the United Nations hoped for a strong and constructive relationship with Mr Trump.

The Trump source blamed U.S. President Barack Obama for joining up by an executive order, without getting approval from the Senate. “There wouldn't be this diplomatic fallout on the broader international agenda if Obama hadn't rushed the adoption,” he said.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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