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The Australian - - FRONT PAGE -

MON­TREAL: The White House pushed back yes­ter­day at a Euro­pean sug­ges­tion it was soft­en­ing its stand on the Paris cli­mate ac­cord, in­sist­ing Wash­ing­ton will with­draw from the agree­ment un­less it can re-en­ter on more favourable terms.

The re­mark came as en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ters from about 30 coun­tries gath­ered in Mon­treal seek­ing head­way on the Paris cli­mate ac­cord, which US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump with­drew from in June.

At the sum­mit, which was at­tended by an Amer­i­can ob­server, the US “stated that they will not rene­go­ti­ate the Paris ac­cord, but they (will) try to re­view the terms on which they could be en­gaged un­der this agree­ment”, top EU cli­mate of­fi­cial Miguel Arias Canete said. He said there would be a meet­ing on the side­lines of next week’s UN Gen­eral Assem­bly with US rep­re­sen­ta­tives “to as­sess what is the real US po­si­tion”, not­ing “it’s a mes­sage which is quite dif­fer­ent to the one we heard from Pres­i­dent Trump in the past”. The US ob­server was not avail­able for com­ment and the White House in­sisted the US would with­draw from the Paris cli­mate ac­cord with­out more favourable terms.

“There has been no change in the United States’ po­si­tion on the Paris Agree­ment,” White House spokes­woman Sarah Huck­abee San­ders said. “As the Pres­i­dent has made abun­dantly clear, the United States is with­draw­ing un­less we can reen­ter on terms that are more favourable to our coun­try.”

Called by Canada, China and the EU, the sum­mit took place 30 years to the day af­ter the sign­ing of the Mon­treal Pro­to­col on pro­tect­ing the ozone layer — which Cana­dian En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Cather­ine McKenna hailed as a mul­ti­lat­eral “suc­cess story” by gov­ern­ments, NGOs and cit­i­zens.

“Every­one agreed that the en­vi­ron­ment and the econ­omy go to­gether, they are linked,’’ Ms McKenna said.

“You can­not grow the econ­omy with­out tak­ing care of the en­vi­ron­ment.

“Changes are real, ex­treme weather events are more fre­quent, more pow­er­ful and more dis­tress­ful.”

AFP

Don­ald Trump wants bet­ter terms with the Paris agree­ment

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