White House de­nies US is plan­ning to re­main in Paris cli­mate ac­cord

The Guardian Australia - - World News - Amanda Holpuch in New York

The White House has de­nied re­ports that it planned to stay in the Paris cli­mate agree­ment, say­ing its po­si­tion on leav­ing was un­changed, and that it would only stay in if it got more “favourable” terms.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion was forced to make a state­ment on Satur­day af­ter re­ports emerged as min­is­ters from more than 30 coun­tries held talks in Mon­treal this week­end pre­par­ing for the up­com­ing United Nations cli­mate sum­mit in Novem­ber.

The Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported that Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials had said at the Mon­treal talks that they wouldn’t pull out of the Paris ac­cord and were of­fer­ing to reen­gage with the deal, cit­ing the EU’s cli­mate com­mis­sioner.

The WSJ quoted Cañete say­ing: “The US has 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.”

Ac­cord­ing to the AFP news agency, Cañete also said there would be a meet­ing on the side­lines of the UN gen­eral assem­bly in New York City early next week with US rep­re­sen­ta­tives “to as­sess what is the real US po­si­tion”, and noted: “It’s a mes­sage which is quite dif­fer­ent to the one we heard from Pres­i­dent Trump in the past.”

Trump pro­voked out­cry among the ma­jor­ity of world lead­ers and the sci­ence com­mu­nity when he gave no­tice ear­lier this year that Paris was a bad deal for the US and he would pull the coun­try out of the deal to cut emis­sions.

On Satur­day, re­spond­ing to the re­ports, White House press sec­re­tary Sarah Huck­abee San­ders said in an email to the Guardian: “There has been no change in the United States’ po­si­tion on the Paris agree­ment. As the Pres­i­dent has made abun­dantly clear, the United States is with­draw­ing un­less we can re-en­ter on terms that are more fa­vor­able to our coun­try”.

Min­is­ters from 34 economies are meet­ing in Mon­treal in part to head off po­ten­tial ef­forts by the US to weaken the ac­cord at the Novem­ber UN cli­mate sum­mit in Bonn, Ger­many.

Though Trump said in June that the coun­try would pull out of the Paris ac­cord, there has been lit­tle ef­fort by the US to for­mally ex­tri­cate it­self from the agree­ment.

Half the G20 is rep­re­sented at the week­end meet­ing in Mon­treal, though there are no se­nior US cli­mate of­fi­cials in at­ten­dance.

The US del­e­ga­tion is headed by Everett Eis­sen­stat, deputy di­rec­tor of the US Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil.

Af­ter the sum­mit, Cañete is set to travel to New York and meet Trump ad­viser Gary Cohn, the di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil, on Mon­day.

Trump pro­voked out­cry among the ma­jor­ity of world lead­ers and the sci­ence com­mu­nity when he gave no­tice that Paris was a ‘bad deal’ for the US. Pho­to­graph: Shawn Thew/EPA

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