Energy & Environment

Trump adviser tells foreign officials no change on Paris climate deal

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Gary Cohn, President Trump’s chief economic adviser, told foreign climate and energy officials Monday morning that the administration still plans to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

Cohn hosted climate, energy and foreign ministers for an informal breakfast in New York City to precede this week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting.

He told reporters afterward that he reaffirmed what Trump said in June at the White House: The United States plans to pull out of Paris unless the accord can be made better for the country.


“We made the president’s position unambiguous, to where the president stands, where the administration stands on Paris,” he said, according to Reuters.

A senior White House official said Cohn reiterated Trump’s position that “we are withdrawing from the Paris agreement unless we can re-engage on terms more favorable to the United States,” and that was “made very clear” in the Monday morning breakfast.

The Wall Street Journal initially reported Saturday that a White House official had told climate ministers in Montreal that Trump had decided not to pull out of the Paris accord.

The White House quickly denied that, but repeated that, as before, Trump could be open to a different agreement.

On Sunday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told CBS News’s “Face the Nation” that Trump could rejoin the deal “under the right conditions.”

Tillerson and Cohn both supported the Paris agreement before Trump’s pullout announcement and advocated for Trump to stay in it.

The agreement’s emissions cuts are voluntary. Under the deal’s terms, Trump cannot formally withdraw until November 2020.

Cohn also used the Monday meeting to outline Trump’s energy agenda and how officials around the world can work together to reduce energy costs, the senior White House official said.

Tags Climate change Paris agreement Rex Tillerson United Nations
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