EU Climate Commissioner: US Changing Its Tune on Paris Deal

Laura Christensen
September 19, 2017

The EU's top climate official Miguel Arias Canete previously said that Washington would "try to review the terms on which they could be engaged' with the emissions deal, but would not renegotiate it".

President Donald Trump in early June said the USA would exit the accord because other countries were "gaining a financial advantage over the United States".

White House officials have sent mixed messages on whether America remains in a global climate agreement, with a top U.S. diplomat suggesting the country could re-engage with the Paris pact.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted: "Our position on the Paris agreement has not changed".

The US National Security Adviser, HR McMaster appeared to strike a similar note to Tillerson's during a recent television appearance where he said that Trump has always been willing to consider changes on the climate pact.

"We're getting out", he said during Rose Garden remarks. Other countries have not approached the USA with proposals to keep the world's second-largest emitter of carbon pollution in the agreement, the official said. Months later, the US and China jointly said they would sign off on the deal. "They have also made clear that they have no intention to renegotiate".

The landmark agreement, which entered into force last November, calls on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future, and to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change.

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One person familiar with the president's thinking said that the accord would have to be significantly changed for the remain. According to research released at a United Nations conference in May, both countries will easily exceed their emissions targets in the Paris agreement. The decision drew anger and condemnation from world leaders.

A senior White House official said in an email that Trump's position was made very clear in the breakfast.

"It's a message which is quite different to the one we heard from President Trump in the past", Mr Canete added.

Gary Cohen, Trump's top economic advisor, is expected to pass along the same message in Montreal during an informal breakfast to discuss global energy and climate change, according to the official.

It aims to strengthen the global response to climate change by keeping the global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Just hours earlier, the White House denied reports about remaining in the Paris deal. The Paris accord's biggest advocates have their eyes set on the redistribution of wealth, which is what the accord would facilitate.

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