China affirmed its place in the Paris Accord on climate change Thursday as leaders around the world prepare for a decision from President Donald Trump on U.S. involvement in the global pact to reduce greenhouse emissions.
The confirmation comes amid reports that China and Europe will announce a joint effort on clean energy transition later this week in Brussels as both the political and environmental ground shifts between global leaders and officials in Washington.
"Climate change is a global challenge. No county can place itself outside of this," a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry said. "We will continue to resolutely be a protector and promoter of the global climate system process, proactively participating in the multilateral climate change process."
Earlier Thursday, European Council President Donald Tusk urged Trump in a Tweet from his verified social media account to remain withing the Accord, which was signed by his predecessor, Barack Obama, in 2015, and includes the signatures of 195 other nations around the world.
.@realDonaldTrump please don't change the (political) climate for the worse.— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) June 1, 2017
The Paris Accord aims to not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also limit the pace of global warming to "well below" 3.6 degree Fahrenheit. Trump has repeatedly referred to climate change as a "hoax" designed to place undue regulatory burdens on American industry and vowed to "cancel" the agreement within his first 100 days in office.
I will be announcing my decision on Paris Accord, Thursday at 3:00 P.M. The White House Rose Garden. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2017
Leaders from beyond the political spectrum have also weighed-in on the Trump's pending decision, with billionaire Tesla Motors (TSLA - Get Report) founder Elon Musk imploring the President to reconsider his views on the Accord.
Don't know which way Paris will go, but I've done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in WH & via councils, that we remain— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 31, 2017
Hundreds of companies have come out in support of the Paris climate agreement, sealed in December 2015. More than 300 businesses in November signed an open letter calling on Trump and Congress to stay in the pact, including Nike (NKE - Get Report) , General Mills (GIS - Get Report) , Tiffany & Co. (TIF - Get Report) , eBay (EBAY - Get Report) , Gap (GPS - Get Report) Apple (AAPL - Get Report) , Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) and Facebook (FB - Get Report) were among those signing onto an ad sponsored by sustainability advocate Ceres backing the agreement. The group has also gotten the support of over 280 investors representing more than $17 trillion of assets.
A number of oil and gas companies have backed the accord as well, including Chevron (CVX - Get Report) , Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A - Get Report) and BP (BP - Get Report) . Exxon (XOM - Get Report) in March sent a letter to the White House urging it to stay in the Paris agreement, and CEO Darren Woods penned a personal letter to the president addressing the matter, the Financial Times reported last week.
"The President has a lot of people who he gets a lot of input from," said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer Wednesday. "Let's wait and see what the President's decision is."