The White House said Saturday it has not changed its position on the Paris climate accord and will withdraw from the agreement that President Trump has called unfair to the United States unless it can be re-negotiated.
The statement came in response to published reports by the Wall Street Journal and AFP that a top European climate official said the U.S. would “not re-negotiate the Paris Accord, but will try to review the terms on which they could be engaged under this agreement.”
The climate official, Miguel Arias Canete, was meeting with ministers from some 30 countries in Montreal on Saturday to push forward on implementing the Paris deal without the U.S.
The White House swiftly denied any change in its stance on the landmark deal.
“There has been no change in the United States’ position on the Paris agreement,” the White House said in a statement. “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.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted: “Our position on the Paris agreement has not changed. @POTUS has been clear, US withdrawing unless we get pro-America terms.”
In June, Trump said the United States would begin the three-year process for withdrawing while simultaneously signaling he was willing to reconsider if the United States could get more favorable terms.
“So we’re getting out, but we will start to negotiate, and we’ll see if we can make a deal that’s fair,” Trump said.
Under the terms of the international agreement to reduce greenhouse gases, the earliest a nation can formally withdraw is November 2020 — the same month Trump faces re-election. But because the greenhouse gas reduction targets are largely voluntary, Trump said he would immediately “cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord.”
Many Republicans believe the Paris accord unfairly limits American job and economic growth with little concrete return.
When Trump announced his pullout, European leaders quickly responded that the accord was “irreversible” and not open to re-negotiation. “We firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies,” said a joint statement by Italian Prime…