White House confirms Trump's plans to withdraw from Paris climate deal

Daniel Tiveau  CIFOR

President Donald Trump's administration has sent mixed signals regarding a new report that the USA may stay in the Paris climate accord.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the president's view is that the U.S.is withdrawing unless "we get pro-America terms".

The person familiar with Trump's thinking said he isn't expecting to cut a deal to remain in the Paris accord while he's at the General Assembly this week or anytime soon, and that it's not a particularly hot topic within the White House at the moment.

"For anyone who had any hope that two historically devastating storms striking our nation would wake up the Trump Administration to the reality of the climate crisis, think again", Coequyt said in a statement.

Eissenstat apparently outlined a plan to officials that signalled the U.S.'s cooperation in combating climate change along with members of the Paris accord, noting that the administration will be reviewing new emission-cutting targets. "We firmly believe that the Paris Agreement can not be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies", said a joint statement by Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The climate agreement is expected to be on the agenda - and had been expected to repeat the claims made by the officials from the Montreal meeting until the White House's remarks to the contrary.

The U.S. has the world's second highest level of greenhouse-gas emissions, which drive global warming, behind China.

Other countries and world leaders roundly rejected Trump's request to renegotiate the deal, which took years to finalise.

"We continue to engage them", Canada's environment minister Catherine McKenna said. "We are getting out, but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that is fair". If we can, great. "And if we can't, that's fine". German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said in a joint statement that "the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible, and we firmly believe that the Paris agreement can not be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies".

"I would just go back to what the president said", McMaster said.

When Mr Trump announced in June that the U.S. would withdraw from the accord, Canada, China and the European Union immediately reaffirmed their respective commitments to the pact, which the Group of 20 declared "irreversible" the following month.

Ministers will look to Cohn for greater clarity on the U.S. position.

Under the agreement's terms, Trump's decision to withdraw can not fully take effect for nearly four years.

Ultimately, Trump chose to trigger a withdrawal mechanism that will take more than three-and-a-half years to complete, leaving time for his aides to hammer out a plan that would alter USA commitments while remaining a part of the agreement.

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