White House advisers postpone Paris climate deal meeting
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 2:50
Internal debates within the Trump administration are not uncommon.
Trump's advisers and cabinet heads were divided over whether Trump should keep his campaign promise to pull the United States out of the agreement - or stay and try to reshape it, Reuters reported. The central witness of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who told Senators how she had met twice in two days with the top lawyer at the White House, sending the message that ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was "compromised with respect to the Russians".
Since his election, Trump has appeared less dogmatic and said he is keeping an "open mind" on the accord.
The White House said late Monday that the meeting would be rescheduled.
The two leaders agreed to meet "as soon as possible". Climate change was widely seen as one of the few bright spots of cooperation between Beijing and the previous Obama administration in Washington.
Trump is expected to make a final decision on whether to withdraw sometime this month.
But many delegates say the accord is vague enough to let nations scale back ambitions if needed, perhaps because of future economic recessions or natural disasters.
Rightly or not, the debate has also been regarded as a proxy battle between rival factions within the West Wing, who are split between a nationalist worldview and a more globalist outlook. It therefore does not have the force of a binding treaty, and the United States could potentially withdraw from the deal without legal penalty.
A White House official said the delay came amid scheduling conflicts.
The G-7 meeting is expected to be a prime opportunity for world leaders to push Trump to stay in the historic 2015 pact, in which each of almost 200 countries agreed to their own nonbinding cuts or limits in greenhouse gas emissions.
"Global investors are eager to open their wallets to a low-carbon future, but it won't happen without clear, stable policy signals from countries worldwide - in particular, the U.S. government, whose waffling on the Paris Climate agreement is hugely troubling".
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, formerly chief of oil giant ExxonMobil, supports staying in the accord, but Scott Pruitt, administrator of the country's Environmental Protection Agency, says it "is a bad deal for America" that will cost some US workers their jobs. Her meetings with EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and Sen.
Putting off the determination creates an opening for the leaders of Germany, U.K. and other G-7 nations to make their case to Trump for staying in the deal.
"195 countries have signed the Paris Agreement and there will be 195 different paths to meeting the Paris goals".