Trump to decide by late May whether to stay in Paris climate pact

Trump to decide by late May whether to stay in Paris climate pact
© Getty Images

President Trump is planning to decide by late May on whether the U.S. should stay in the Paris climate change agreement, the White House announced Thursday.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily briefing that White House aides “are currently reviewing issues related to the agreement.”

The administration expects to announce a final decision by May 26 — the beginning of a conference in Italy for the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries — or even sooner, Spicer said.

ADVERTISEMENT
The president promised last year on the campaign trail to “cancel” the 2015 agreement, which former President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaJeb Bush calls out Republicans silent on Trump's Russia probe Trump launches all-out assault on Mueller probe Immigration agents planning raids next week targeting teenage gang members MORE helped formulate. The pact consists of non-binding greenhouse gas emissions cuts agreed to by nearly 200 nations.

Trump has been under pressure from conservatives, top White House adviser Stephen Bannon and others to fulfill his campaign promise and formally exit the agreement.

But others close to the president want to maintain the United States’ position in the pact, even if Trump doesn’t want to abide by the 26 percent to 28 percent emissions cut that Obama promised.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it’s valuable from a diplomatic perspective to stay in the accord, and Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner — both close advisers — agree.

Trump’s wide-ranging executive order signed Tuesday started the process to roll back nearly all of Obama’s climate agenda, but did not mention the Paris agreement. Still, the order makes it unlikely that the nation could live up to Obama’s commitment.

The pact sets out a four-year process for exiting the agreement. But some conservatives have suggested pulling the U.S. out of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change, a much larger agency, which would also have the effect of pulling out of Paris.