Trump hints he may stay in Paris climate pact

Trump hints he may stay in Paris climate pact
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President Trump is hinting that he might keep the United States in the Paris climate change agreement, but he doesn’t think it currently treats the U.S. fairly.

Trump told Reuters in an interview that he would make a decision in about two weeks on the pact that former President Obama negotiated.

He said his primary concern with the agreement is that he doesn’t believe countries like China, India and Russia are being held to the same standards as the U.S., particularly with contributions to the Green Climate Fund.

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“It’s not a fair situation because they are paying virtually nothing and we are paying massive amounts of money,” Trump told Reuters.

He refused to say what his decision would be, saying only: “I can say this, we want to be treated fairly.”

Trump’s comments come as numerous major businesses push him to stay in the pact and abandon his campaign promise to exit it. BP, Exxon Mobil Corp., Cloud Peak Energy and Microsoft Corp. are among the companies that have asked recently to stay in.

Many of the supporters, however, want Trump to change the nonbinding emissions reductions that Obama promised.

Earlier Thursday, a group of Trump administration officials and advisers met at the White House to try to sort out a growing rift in the administration about whether to stay in.

People like senior adviser Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson want to stay in the pact, while chief strategist Stephen Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt want to exit.

Attendees at the meeting did not settle on a position for Trump, Politico reported, and are planning to meet again before late May, when Trump has promised to come to a conclusion on Paris.

But the officials are starting to reach a consensus that if the U.S. stays in the accord, Trump ought to change the country’s commitment, Politico said.

Bloomberg News reported that a major subject of conversation was the legal implications of staying in the pact. Some in the administration are worried that it would be difficult to repeal climate regulations without replacing them if the Paris commitments remain in place, even though they aren’t binding.