Sci-tech

White House: No change in USA position on Paris accord

White House: No change in USA position on Paris accord

The White House has pushed back at a European suggestion that it was softening its stance on the Paris climate accord, insisting that Washington will withdraw from the agreement unless it can re-enter on more favourable terms.

The Paris agreement commits the United States and 187 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures "well below" 2C above pre-industrial levels and "endeavour to limit" them even more, to 1.5C.

Later Sunday, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said that "There has been no change in the United States" position on the Paris agreement.

Quoting a top European Union official on Saturday afternoon, the newspaper reported the Trump administration won't pull out of the Paris agreement after all.

Read the full CNN story here.

That meeting was attended by a USA observer.

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On Monday, climate ministers from about a dozen large-economy nations will meet in NY with Gary Cohn, head of the National Economic Council, where the USA position on the Paris agreement is expected to be discussed.

Canadian environment minister Catherine McKenna said the participation of a USA delegation in Montreal was a positive sign. I think if you recall, the president also said, look, we are willing to work with partners in the Paris climate accord.

But Tillerson said Trump's chief economics adviser, Gary Cohn, was studying ways the USA could cooperate with other countries on what, he said, "is still a challenging issue".

In June, the president announced that the US would exit the climate agreement, saying, "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris".

"We want to be productive; we want be helpful", he added.

In June, Trump argued that the deal would "undermine our economy, hamstring our workers, weaken our sovereignty. and put us at a permanent disadvantage to the other countries of the world", he said.

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Trump promised to "cancel" the Paris Agreement during his presidential campaign, but his own White House was split on the issue.

Trump has already made clear that he views the climate accord as an obstacle to his goal of creating jobs and ensuring energy independence.

But White House officials strongly denied that.

The accord, which was championed by former U.S. President Barack Obama, was ratified by almost 200 countries in 2015.

The remark came as environment ministers from some 30 countries gathered in Montreal seeking headway on the Paris climate accord, which President Donald Trump had pulled out of in June.

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