Trump delays decision on Paris climate pact

Trump delays decision on Paris climate pact
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President Trump will decide whether to keep the United States in the Paris climate change agreement after a meeting of leading industrial nations later this month.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters of the new timeline Tuesday.

“The president has been meeting with his team for quite a while on this matter, and he will not be making an announcement regarding that agreement until after he returns from the G-7,” he said, referring to the Group of Seven meeting scheduled for May 26-27 in Italy.

In March, Spicer had said that the decision would come before the G-7 summit.

Spicer on Tuesday declined to detail the deliberations, what strategies Trump might be considering or whether there’s any conclusion to be drawn from the delay and the postponed meeting top Trump officials had planned to have Tuesday.

"The reason that he's seeking the advice of his team is to get options and then he'll pursue the best one. But I'm not going to tell you which one that he's going to do," Spicer said.

"The president wants to continue to meet with his team … meet with not just the economic piece, but his environmental team, and come to a decision on what's the best interests of the United States, using the expertise that surrounds him."

Spicer's announcement came the same day that a team of top administration officials postponed deliberations on whether to recommend that the U.S. stay in the pact or exit it, which Trump promised to do during last year’s presidential campaign.

There is a wide rift in the administration regarding the climate agreement, with some officials publicly airing their opinions on whether Trump should exit the accord or not. Officials like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump want to stay in the pact, while Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt and strategist Stephen Bannon want to leave.

The G-7 meeting is expected to be a prime opportunity for world leaders to push Trump to stay in the historic 2015 pact, in which each of nearly 200 countries agreed to their own nonbinding cuts or limits in greenhouse gas emissions.

The leaders of all of the other G-7 members — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the European Union — strongly support the agreement, and many have been pushing Trump publicly and privately to stay in it.

Updated: 3:16 p.m.