Trump Made a Climate Promise. Now He's Not So Sure

A White House meeting scheduled for this week has been canceled
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 10, 2017 11:00 AM CDT
Trump Made a Climate Promise. Now He's Not So Sure
Despite uncertainties about whether the United States will remain committed to the Paris climate accord under President Trump, diplomats convened talks in Bonn, Germany, on implementing the details of the global deal.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

President Trump is delaying a decision on whether to withdraw from a landmark climate deal until after an international summit later this month. The move means the president will head to the G7 summit in Italy at the end of May amid continued global uncertainty over whether the US will remain in the emissions-cutting deal struck in Paris under the Obama administration. Trump pledged during the presidential campaign to renegotiate the accord, but he has wavered on the issue since winning the presidency, reports the AP. The latest:

  • The official line: Sean Spicer said Tuesday that Trump wants to "continue to meet with his team," seeking economic and environmental advice, as he works to make a decision. A meeting for top advisers to discuss the deal had been set for Tuesday afternoon but was postponed. The BBC reports it's the second such cancellation, and no new date has been given.

  • Big business wants in: On April 26, Trump was sent a letter signed by giants ranging from Apple and Google to BP and Shell making the case that staying in the Paris Agreement will create jobs and reduce climate-fueled business risks. A New York Times op-ed's take: "This is as close as big business gets to a consensus position."
  • Ivanka's role: A senior administration official said the president's inclination has been to leave the pact, but Ivanka Trump set up a review process to make sure he received information from experts in the public and private sector before making a decision. CNN reports there's a schism among the president's top advisers, with his daughter and Rex Tillerson leaning toward in, and EPA head Scott Pruitt and Steve Bannon lobbying for out.
  • Why we can leave in the first place: The Paris accord, signed by nearly 200 nations in 2015, was never ratified by the Senate due to staunch GOP opposition. It therefore does not have the force of a binding treaty, and the US could potentially withdraw from the deal without legal penalty.
  • The world forges ahead: Ten days of talks began in Bonn, Germany, on Monday, with officials trying to come to a consensus on how to implement the agreement. The Washington Post reports the US does have a presence, though it points out Zimbabwe's delegation is bigger than our own, which numbers seven.
  • A dubious milestone: In late April, Hawaii's Mauna Loa Observatory registered a carbon dioxide reading of 410.28 parts per million—breaching the 410ppm mark and hitting a height the planet hasn't experienced in millions of years, reported Scientific American. When record-keeping began there in 1958, the measurement was 280ppm.
(More President Trump stories.)

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