Trump softens stance on Paris climate pact

Trump softens stance on Paris climate pact
© Getty Images

President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpScaramucci says he will contact FBI, Justice Dept. over leaked financial disclosure Dem rep to introduce measure requiring White House to disclose pardons Lawmakers push to toughen foreign lobbying rules MORE stepped back from his pledge to quickly pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement Tuesday, leaving the door open for the agreement to stay in place under his presidency.

In a meeting with New York Times journalists at the newspaper’s Manhattan headquarters, columnist Tom Friedman asked about Trump’s position on withdrawing from the climate pact, according to Times reporter Mike Grynbaum, who was in the room.

ADVERTISEMENT
“I’m looking at it very closely,” Grynbaum reported Trump as saying. “I have an open mind to it.”

Trump also walked back from his previous position that climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese to threaten American manufacturing.

“I think there is some connectivity” between human activity and climate change, Trump said. “Some, something. It depends on how much.”

Pulling out of the Paris deal was one of Trump’s most high-profile pledges in the energy policy sphere on the campaign trail this year.

“We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement,” Trump said at a May speech in North Dakota.

He also promised to roll back all of President Obama’s executive actions and regulations on climate change, including the Clean Power Plan.

His position aligns with most mainstream Republicans. But diplomats and leaders around the work have harshly criticized Trump on his position on Paris since the election and urged him to stay in the accord.

United Kingdom Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, a vocal Trump supporter, added his voice to the mix Tuesday, saying that he and the nation’s government would push Trump to retain the United States’ position in the agreement, according to the Guardian.

An aide in Trump’s transition team told Reuters days after the election that they are looking into ways to quickly exit the pact, including cutting off the United States’ membership in the United Nations’ entire climate agency.

The pact, reached last December, includes non-binding greenhouse gas limits that each country determined for itself. President Obama, a key figure in reaching the deal, pledged the United States to cut its emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025.