Trump advisers to meet Tuesday to discuss
Paris climate agreement
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[April 18, 2017]
By Steve Holland and Valerie Volcovici
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Advisers to
President Donald Trump will meet on Tuesday to discuss whether to
recommend that he withdraw the United States from the Paris climate
accord, a White House official said on Monday.
The accord, agreed on by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015, aims to
limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other
emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Under the pact, the United
States committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005
levels by 2025.
Trump has said the United States should "cancel" the deal, but he has
been mostly quiet on the issue since he was elected last November.
Environmental groups want Washington to remain in the Paris agreement,
even if the new administration weakens U.S. pledges.
A White House official said Trump's aides would "discuss the options,
with the goal of providing a recommendation to the president about the
The meeting comes before a summit of the Group of Seven wealthy nations
in late May, the deadline for the White House to take a position.
White House officials, led by the National Economic Council, have
recently been asking publicly traded energy companies for advice on
whether to stay in the agreement.
Peabody Energy has consulted with White House officials, and Cloud Peak
Energy Inc confirmed to Reuters it had told White House advisers it was
in its interests for the United States to remain in the agreement to
ensure there was a global role for high-efficiency coal plants.
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The Eiffel tower is illuminated in green with the words "Paris
Agreement is Done", to celebrate the Paris U.N. COP21 Climate Change
agreement in Paris, France, November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky
On Monday, liquified natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy sent a letter
to George David Banks, who handles international energy issues at the
NEC, to recommend remaining in the Paris agreement so "the United States
can leverage competitive advantages in natural gas and energy
The advisers expected to attend Tuesday's meeting include Energy
Secretary Rick Perry and Environmental Protection Agency
Administrator Scott Pruitt.
Perry, a former Texas governor, at his confirmation hearings in
January softened a previous position that the science behind climate
change was "phony."
Last week, Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, said the
United States should exit the agreement because it was a "bad deal"
for the country.
Justin Guay, climate program officer for the Packard Foundation,
said countries like China and India would continue to shift toward
clean energy even if the United States retreated, adding: "It is
most important that the U.S. stays at the table."
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Andrew
Hay and Peter Cooney)
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