White House denies reports that USA changing stance on Paris climate pact

Aaron Brown
September 18, 2017

When European environment officials suggested over the weekend that the United States might be ready to reengage with the pact, the White House said that its position was unchanged, and that it could stay only if more "favorable" terms were achieved.

The Paris agreement commits the U.S. and 187 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures "well below" 2C above pre-industrial levels and "endeavour to limit" them even more, to 1.5C.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that the United States could remain in the Paris Climate Accords under the right circumstances.

Global climate ministers on Saturday encouraged the U.S.to remain in the Paris agreement and continue the push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Read the full CNN story here.

Ministers from over 30 nations that signed the climate change agreement were present at a meeting in Montreal on Saturday which US officials also attended.

At the time, Trump said the agreement disadvantaged the U.S.

Another White House official said Saturday diplomats were mischaracterizing Eissenstat's comments. The White House denied those reports in a statement Saturday, and McMaster underscored the US position Sunday. "He's out of the Paris climate accord", he told the "Fox News Sunday" program.

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"We want to be productive, we want to be helpful", Tillerson said.

The Paris Agreement is a U.N. -negotiated deal signed in 2015 by every nation except Syria and Nicaragua.

Based on the terms of the deal, the US could not even withdraw from the agreement until November 2020, one day after the next presidential election. "And we will start to renegotiate and we'll see if there's a better deal".

President Donald Trump announced in June that he would withdraw the nation from the 2015 global climate pact, arguing that it would undermine the US economy and national sovereignty.

An worldwide official familiar with the meeting told POLITICO earlier Saturday that Eissenstat, the No. 2 official on the National Economic Council, told diplomats during a closed-door meeting that the US was mulling plans to remain in the Paris deal and to rethink Obama's climate pledge.

In June, the president announced that the USA would exit the climate agreement, saying, "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris".

If true, this would mark another reversal of one of President Trump's key campaign promises, one of the most controversial.

Tillerson today headed to NY to attend the annual General Assembly session of the United Nations during which he would hold a series of bilateral and multilateral meetings with world leaders.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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