U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that the United States could remain in the Paris Climate Accords under the right circumstances.
Anonymous officials told the Wall Street Journal on Saturday that the United States had attempted to re-engage the deal rather than pull out. The report goes on to say that the European Union’s Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Canete, said President Donald Trump would partake in the landmark agreement.
“The U.S. has stated that they will not renegotiate the Paris accord, but they will try to review the terms on which they could be engaged under this agreement,” the Journal cited Miguel Arias Cenete, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, as saying on Saturday.
Ministers from over 30 nations that signed the climate change agreement were present at a meeting in Montreal on Saturday which U.S. officials also attended.
However, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders took to Twitter to deny these claims, saying that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords unless it was given terms favourable to Americans.
Tillerson later appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation and stated that if the U.S. was able to construct a set of terms that are fair for Americans, President Donald Trump would be willing to work with partners in the Paris agreement.
“The president said he is open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others on what we all agree is still a challenging issue,” Tillerson said.
However, the president announced in June following the meeting of the Group of Seven that he would withdraw the United States from the 2015 Global Climate Act, arguing it would threaten the economy and sovereignty of the United States.
World leaders expressed disdain for this decision, including France’s Emmanuel Macron, Britain’s Theresa May and Germany’s Angela Merkel.
Tillerson also said that Trump’s economic adviser, Gary Cohn, was looking after this issue.
“So I think the plan is for director Cohn to consider other ways in which we can work with partners in the Paris Climate Accord. We want to be productive. We want to be helpful,” said.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster also said on ABC’s This Week program that Trump was open to “any discussions that will help us improve the environment.”
“He left the door open to re-entering at some later time if there can be a better deal for the United States,” McMaster said. “If there’s an agreement that benefits the American people, certainly.”
The accord, which was championed by former U.S. President Barack Obama, was ratified by nearly 200 countries in 2015. It was meant to limit global warming to 2 degrees or less by 2100, mainly through pledges to cut carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.
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