Trump ‘won’t pull out’ of Paris Accord
In a stunning about-face, the Trump administration will not pull out of the Paris climate deal after all, a European Union official told The Wall Street Journal on Saturday.
The United States will “not renegotiate the Paris Accord,” but instead will review its terms, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete told the newspaper.
White House senior adviser Everett Eissenstat unveiled the new US position at a meeting Saturday, the Journal said.
But the White House issued a sharp denial.
“There has been no change in the United States’ position on the Paris agreement,” said Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters. “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.”
Whether or not the Trump administration stays in the climate accord, the US is expected to significantly reduce its ambition to curb greenhouse-gas emissions — in line with President Trump’s goal of clinching “fairer terms” in the deal, the Journal reported.
It also capped a week when Trump’s overtures toward Democratic leaders on immigration and tax policy rattled some supporters and cast doubt on the fate of his core campaign promises.
Trump announced on June 1 that the US would withdraw from the 2015 pact, saying it imposed wildly unfair environmental standards on American businesses and workers.
He called the deal signed by 195 nations “draconian,” and vowed to stand with the people of the United States to negotiate a better deal for them.
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” the president said at the time.
It was seen as his most sweeping assertion of an “America first” foreign-policy doctrine since taking office — and as a victory for Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who was fired in August.
Under the accord reached during former President Barack Obama’s administration, the United States had pledged to slash greenhouse-gas emissions and commit up to $3 billion in aid for poorer countries by 2020.
The decision to leave the agreement drew support from many Republicans, but condemnation from the other side of the aisle and around the world.
Several governors and mayors, including New York’s Bill de Blasio, announced plans to meet the standards of the Paris agreement in their respective states and cities without the leadership of the federal government.
Trump’s seemingly fluid foreign policy will take center stage this week as he plunges into the first United Nations General Assembly of his presidency.
GREAT SHAKES: President Trump appears with French President Emmanuel Macron in July, amid world opposition to the US leaving the Paris climate accord.