White House Denies Claim Trump Plans to Shift on Paris Climate Accord

Paris climate agreement
AP/Thibault Camus

The White House on Saturday denied a claim that the Trump administration is changing its position on the Paris climate agreement, after an E.U. official said the U.S. wants to review the terms of the deal from which President Trump promised to remove the U.S. from in June.

“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,” European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reported the remarks under the headline of: “Trump Administration Won’t Withdraw from Paris Climate Deal.”

The White House quickly denied that it was changing its stance.

“There has been no change in the United States’ position on the Paris agreement. As the President has made abundantly clear, the United States is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms that are more favorable to our country,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Trump announced his decision to remove the U.S. from the 2015 deal in June, sparking fury from the international political community and from the mainstream media — who saw the move as a blow for the international fight against climate change.

Trump said at the time he was open to re-entering the agreement “or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”

Trump said that complying with the deal would cost “as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025,” including 440,000 fewer manufacturing jobs.

“Not what we need,” he said.

According to the Journal, White House senior adviser Everett Eissenstat unveiled a plan Saturday at a meeting of ministers in Montreal, led by Canada, China, and the EU.

The administration notified the United Nations in August of its intention to leave the Paris climate accord, the next in a series of formal steps the administration needed to take to leave the agreement in 2020. At that time the State Department reiterated the position that it would be open to re-entering the deal if favorable terms were found.

Any move to re-enter the deal, even under more favorable terms, could serve to infuriate Trump’s base, coming after Trump caved to Democrats on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and pushed for Congress to enshrine the order he promised to revoke into law.

Trump will travel to the United Nations Monday for a series of meetings at the UN, and a speech at the General Assembly on Tuesday. The UN has been particularly opposed to the U.S. withdrawal, and Trump is likely to face pressure to change his mind on the deal while he is in New York.

Breitbart News’ Michelle Moons contributed to this report.

Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter:  @AdamShawNY

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