Building suspense about America's role in the world, President Donald Trump planned to announce Thursday whether the US would stay in a global climate pact.
Some northern European countries are criticizing the USA for its expected withdrawal from the Paris climate accords.
"We're getting out", Trump said at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden in which he decried the Paris accord's "draconian" financial and economic burdens.
Secretary of state Rex Tillerson has favoured remaining in the agreement and chief strategist Steve Bannon supports an exit, as does Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt.
"The president will make an announcement when he's made a final decision", one senior official said.
Obama, in a statement, expressed regret over Trump's action.
Mr Trump does not "comprehensively understand" the terms of the accord, though European leaders tried to explain the process for withdrawing to him "in clear, simple sentences" during summit meetings last week, Mr Juncker said in Berlin. A pullout also would be one more step by the Republican president to erase the legacy of his predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama, who helped broker the accord and praised it during a trip to Europe this month. Withdrawing would leave the United States aligned only with Russian Federation among the world's industrialized economies.
"Commitments so far could still see temperatures rise by 3 degrees or more", he warned.
On Tuesday, Modi said in Berlin that it would be a "crime" to spoil the environment for future generations as the world awaits a decision on USA climate policy.
The accord aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Under the pact, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.
That fight has played out within Trump's administration.
Guterres said in that speech that "it would be very important for the USA not to leave the Paris agreement".
In Denmark, climate minister Lars Christian Lilleholt said that "if true, this is a really, really bad signal from the United States".
At the conclusion of his talks in Sicily, Trump declined to sign onto a pledge by all the other leaders to uphold the Paris carbon reduction commitments.
A formal withdrawal would take years, experts say, a situation that led European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to speak dismissively of Mr Trump on Wednesday.
Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipila said a USA withdrawal would be a big setback, adding that "we must find partners to continue, because this work must not stop".
Exiting the deal would fulfill a central campaign pledge from the president, but would be certain to anger allies that spent years negotiating the accord to reduce carbon emissions.
Despite pressure from allies in the Group of Seven rich nations at a meeting in Italy last week, Trump had refused to endorse the agreement, rebuffing leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain. Climate change is unstoppable. "We have to engage the energy industry and governments to use fossil fuels as cleanly, sparingly and responsibly as possible, while transforming our energy systems".
Quitting the Paris accord may not resonate with members of Trump's Republican Party as much as his administration expects.
Trump claimed before taking office that climate change was a "hoax" created by the Chinese to hurt the USA economy.
What is not yet clear is whether Trump plans to initiate a formal withdrawal from the Paris accord, which under the terms of the agreement could take three years, or exit the underlying United Nations climate change treaty on which the accord was based.
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. A source told Reuters that India had also indicated it would stick by the deal. He also had to navigate a split among his advisers.
He could unilaterally withdraw from the Paris agreement without any action by Congress. She's worked to ensure her father hears pro-Paris viewpoints, including during a phone call with former Vice President Al Gore. Trump has already taken steps to reverse numerous Obama administration's rules created to cut carbon pollution.
Oil majors Shell and ExxonMobil Corp supported the Paris pact.
The warmer EU-China relationship, partly spurred by Trump, is despite a long-running spat with Beijing on what Europe sees as China's dumping of low-priced goods on European markets."No one should be left behind, but the EU and China have made a decision to move forward", Miguel Arias Canete, the European commissioner who has led climate talks with Beijing, said of the Paris accord.FREE-TRADE FORERUNNER? Coal miners Arch Coal and Peabody Energy were both down more than 2 percent.