EU of­fi­cial says U.S. may stay in Paris ac­cord

White House re­futes re­port, says it hasn’t changed stance


WASH­ING­TON— A European of­fi­cial said Saturday that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has soft­ened its stance on the Paris cli­mate agree­ment and may not com­pletely with­draw from it af­ter all.

But the White House quickly re­but­ted the re­port.

“There has been no change in the United States’ po­si­tion on the Paris agree­ment,” said Lindsay Wal­ters, a White House spokesper­son.

“As the pres­i­dent has made abun­dantly clear, the United States is with­draw­ing un­less we can re-en­ter on terms that are more favourable to our coun­try.”

At a min­is­te­rial sum­mit in Mon­treal, where the United States was an ob­server, the European Union’s top cli­mate of­fi­cial said the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion had backed away from its an­nounce­ment in June that it was aban­don­ing the 2015 agree­ment.

The U.S. “stated that they will not rene­go­ti­ate the Paris ac­cord, but they try to re­view the terms on which they could be en­gaged un­der this agree­ment,” Miguel Arias Canete said.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear how far that state­ment would go. Trump, when an­nounc­ing his de­ci­sion to with­draw, was adamant about the U.S. ig­nor­ing goals on lim­it­ing green­house gas emis­sions and other el­e­ments be­lieved to con­trib­ute to global warm­ing.

At the time, it was seen as an­other ab­ro­ga­tion of the United States’ pre­em­i­nent role as a global leader.

But Trump ar­gued that the deal was bad for U.S. busi­nesses and that it made Wash­ing­ton foot too much of the cost.

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