United States could remain in Paris climate accord: Rex Tillerson

19 September, 2017, 00:54 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • China has until 2030 to begin reducing emissions under the Paris Agreement

The Trump administration on Sunday continued its cryptic about-face on the Paris climate accord, with two top officials hinting President Trump is open to negotiations that would keep the U.S.in the global environmental pact. He also raised "serious legal and constitutional issues".

Tillerson's remarks were in line with previous statements from the U.S. State Department which said that the United States is "open to re-engaging in the Paris Agreement if the United States can identify terms that are more favorable to it, its business, its workers, its people, and its taxpayers".

Once among Trump's most trusted aides, Cohn is said to be out of favor in the White House after he openly aired his disagreements with Trump over his equivocal comments about white supremacist violence in Virginia.

A number of participants at the Montreal gathering said that White House would likely significantly reduce the US' ambition to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

"We continue to engage them", Canada's environment minister Catherine McKenna said.

Representatives from 11 European countries are slated to meet tomorrow to discuss US climate policy in New York City with Gary Cohn, the president's National Economic Advisor.

Asked whether the United States could remain in the agreement, Tillerson also appeared to leave a small window of possibility.

Environment ministers from more than 30 countries gathered in Montreal on Saturday to outline plans to implement the climate accord, which they have said can not be renegotiated.

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.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday hinted the United States could remain a part of the Paris climate accord under the right conditions.

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The United States is still withdrawing from the Paris agreement, at least until the carbon emissions pact is revised to be more amenable to the nation's interests.

"Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord..."

His Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, was instrumental in brokering the deal meant to address one of the leading global concerns of the 21st century.

However, Tillerson seemed to suggest on Sunday that Trump could be willing to work with allies in the Paris agreement if the U.S. could construct a set of terms which were fair and balanced for Americans.

Earlier Saturday, the European climate official had suggested Trump was wavering in his commitment to remove the U.S. from the landmark accord, which was struck in 2015.

"The plan is for Director Cohn to consider other ways in which we can work with partners in the Paris Climate Accord", Tillerson added, referring to the chief of the National Economic Council.

The meeting in Montreal stood out for the lack of a high-level US presence.

When Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the accord, he was adamant that the USA would ignore voluntary goals on limiting greenhouse-gas emissions and other elements believed to contribute to global warming. That afternoon was a breathtaking display, as a USA president laid out a rationale completely removed from reality in order to justify abdicating the responsibility of the world's richest, most powerful country to lead on an issue that could determine the fate of human civilization.

In an interview on "Face The Nation", Tillerson emphasised that National Economic Council director Gary Cohn was developing ways for the U.S. to "be helpful" outside of the agreement, though he did not specify any ways the USA would commit to reducing carbon emissions.



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