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United States denies reports of change in stance on Paris climate accord

18 September, 2017, 01:18 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Fire raises at a southwest London subway station

But Tillerson did appear to signal a softening from Trump's earlier characterization of the deal as a "draconian" pact that impinged on American sovereignty and unfairly favored countries like China and India over the US.

That second characterization fits with a statement the White House released on Saturday, aimed at squashing reports that seemed to indicate a willingness from the president to stay in the Paris accord.

"Under the right conditions, the President said he's open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others", Tillerson said.

But a report from The Wall Street Journal Saturday said several officials at a global warming summit indicated the White House would not pull out of the Paris agreement, and would reconsider how it could take part in it.

Trump was criticized in environmental circles and European capitals when he announced the US withdrawal from the Paris accord, a hard-fought agreement that brought together nearly every country in the world to confront climate change.

Even if the USA remained, the Trump administration would not have had to do anything if they didn't want to.

Trump, who once called climate change a "hoax", announced in June that his country will leave the the Paris Agreement.

"It's clear that we need to be taking a leadership role in climate change", said McKenna.

The Trump administration was forced to make a statement on Saturday after reports emerged as ministers from more than 30 countries held talks in Montreal this weekend preparing for the upcoming United Nations climate summit in November.

He said it was part of his "solemn duty to protect America" and he would seek a new deal that would not disadvantage U.S. businesses. "He's out of the Paris climate accord", he told the "Fox News Sunday" program.

"There has been no change in the U.S. position on the Paris agreement", a statement said. If we can, that's great.

The position was brought up, two participants said, by White House officials in Montreal led by senior adviser Everett Eissenstat.

Tillerson said Gary Cohn, Trump's top economic adviser, was overseeing the issue. 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".

"We want to be productive, we want to be helpful", Tillerson said.

Sanders also wrote in a tweet that the administration had always said there was a possibility the USA could stay in the agreement, which 195 nations signed in 2015 to keep the planet from warming by what scientists believe is a key threshold.

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