USA denies reports of change in stance on Paris climate accord

Geneva Matthews
September 19, 2017

President Donald Trump's top economic adviser said at the United Nations on Monday the United States had not changed its plans to withdraw from the Paris climate pact without a renegotiation favorable to Washington, with little appetite for such a step in the global community.

President Donald Trump announced his intentions to withdraw the US from the agreement in June during a speech in the Rose Garden - though under the terms of the original deal, the USA can not fully withdraw until November 4, 2020.

That meeting had seen ministers from 30 countries, including Canada and Britain, discussing United States climate-change goals with White House senior adviser Everett Eissenstat.

U.S. President Donald Trump on June 1 announced his decision to withdraw from Paris Agreement, citing concerns about the accord's threat to the U.S. economy as a main reason for the withdrawal.

"So we're getting out, but we will start to negotiate, and we'll see if we can make a deal that's fair", the president said.

Trump specifically took issue with the U.S. goal in the agreement of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025. The top official suggested a different tone than that of the Trump administration, which had chose to pull out of the historic agreement.

Other countries, and many US states, including California, said they would forge ahead with meeting the goals of the climate agreement despite Trump's plan to withdraw.

However, it would signal a major shift for the administration and a decision to be involved in a movement along with other nations to fight climate change. That would likely include greatly lowering the carbon emission reduction targets set by the Obama administration when it signed onto the accord two years ago.

The White House refuted the story.

But the White House unequivocally denied the reporting.

Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna concurs: "We are pleased the USA continues to engage and recognize the economic opportunity of clean growth, including clean energy". If we can, great.

"I was in the meeting, and the USA negotiator effectively did not close the door on continuing in the agreement, and ruled out looking for a new agreement". It has also said it would consider participating in a new, renegotiated deal.

The decision made good on a Trump campaign promise to "cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of US tax dollars to United Nations global warming programs".

He told the CBS news show "Face the Nation" that President Donald Trump "is open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others on what we all agree is still a challenging issue".

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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