Former Trump adviser: Paris climate accord ‘is a good Republican agreement’
A former adviser to President Trump on Friday offered rare praise for the Paris climate accord from a current or former Trump administration member, calling the deal everything previous GOP administrations have hoped to achieve.
George David Banks, a former White House senior adviser on energy and climate change, in an interview with The New York Times voiced support for the deal signed in 2014 by President Obama.
“I’m going to say something controversial,” Banks said. “The Paris agreement is a good Republican agreement. It’s everything the Bush administration wanted.”
Banks went on to reiterate a claim he made earlier this week, that Trump could consider rejoining the Paris agreement by 2020, when the U.S. is slated to exit the agreement per Trump’s announcement last year.
“He’s still thinking about it,” Banks said. “I think he wants to keep the option alive.”
“A lot can happen between now and 2020,” he added.
The former Trump adviser went on in the interview to warn that not engaging issues of climate change actively could lead to “detrimental” policies down the road.
“The climate agenda is not going to go away any time soon, and if you’re not engaged aggressively, actively, there are going to be policies that are detrimental to the United States,” he said.
Banks’s remarks follow comments he made in an interview earlier this week, where he hinted that Trump could use reentering a renegotiated Paris climate agreement in 2020 as a “victory” heading into his reelection campaign.
“There’s nothing in it for the president this year. There’s nothing in it for the president next year,” Banks said. But in 2020, “he’s going to want victories.”
In an interview in January, Trump told host Piers Morgan that he would consider reentering the deal if European nations were to negotiate terms more favorable for the U.S.
“I believe in clean air. I believe in crystal-clear, beautiful … I believe in just having good cleanliness in all. Now, with that being said, if somebody said go back into the Paris accord, it would have to be a completely different deal because we had a horrible deal,” Trump told Morgan.
“As usual, they took advantage of the U.S. We were in a terrible deal. Would I go back in? Yeah, I’d go back in. I like, as you know, I like [French President] Emmanuel [Macron]. I would love to, but it’s got to be a good deal for the U.S.”
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