Trump officials to deliberate on Paris climate pact

Trump officials to deliberate on Paris climate pact
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Top Trump administration officials plan to meet next week to decide whether the U.S. should end its participation in the Paris climate agreement.

Politico reported Friday that the meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday at the White House.

As planned, the meeting would include National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, senior adviser Jared Kushner and chief strategist Stephen Bannon, Politico said.

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They’re hoping to come to a consensus and recommend to President Trump whether he should stick to his campaign promise to pull the United States out of the non-binding global warming accord.

A White House spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request for comment Friday on the Politico report.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said last month that Trump would decide a course of action on Paris before a meeting of leading industrial nations scheduled for late May.

Whatever his choice, Trump is unlikely to seek policies that would meet the 26 to 28 percent emissions cut that former President Obama promised for the U.S.

Trump and his administration are working to repeal nearly all of Obama’s climate agenda, including the Clean Power Plan, which would have done the most to meet the goals.

Bannon and Pruitt are the main forces opposing the Paris pact and pushing for Trump to pull out.

Pruitt has been outspoken in his opposition. He told “Fox & Friends” Thursday that the pact is “something we need to exit in my opinion and “a bad deal for America,” in part because nations like India and China are subject to what he sees as weaker standards.

Bannon, who used to lead the far-right website Breitbart News, is generally opposed to international governance and climate change policy.

Kushner is one of the main proponents of the pact, along with Tillerson, a former CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp.

To them, it’s best to retain the Paris agreement as a diplomatic tool and to keep a seat at the table on international climate policy.

Trump may also choose to stay in the agreement and reduce the emissions commitment. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and coal producer Cloud Peak Energy are among those asking for that outcome.

The accord was reached in 2015, with nearly 200 nations committing to limit their carbon dioxide emissions, thanks in large part to efforts by Obama. Since the cuts are not binding, Obama never submitted it for Senate ratification as a treaty, something that would have been nearly certain to fail.