White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn reiterated the Trump administration’s position that it would pull out of the Paris agreement on climate change unless they got a better deal, during a meeting with foreign energy ministers.
“We are withdrawing, and we made that as clear as it can be. I don’t know how to say it any more clearly,” Gary Cohn told energy ministers at a Monday meeting in New York City, sources told Politico.
Cohn’s statements come after a weekend of confusion surrounding President Donald Trump’s stance on the Paris accord, which the Obama administration joined in 2016 with a pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The confusion was sparked by a Wall Street Journal report claiming the Trump administration would not withdraw from the agreement and instead would submit a less ambitious plan to cut emissions scientists blame for global warming.
The White House was quick to rebut the reports, and WSJ walked back its initial report, but some confusion remained.
“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 more favorable to our country,” White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in response to WSJ’s report.
In June, Trump announced he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris accord, but he added the U.S. could rejoin the agreement if it was renegotiated or more favorable terms were offered.
The Paris accord’s emissions targets are non-binding, but there’s an ongoing argument over whether the targets submitted by President Barack Obama can be revised.
Cohn met with energy and climate ministers from countries including China, Japan and the European Union on Monday to discuss ways the U.S. can continue to work on environment issues.
A White House official told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Cohn’s meeting would largely focus on building support for Trump’s G20 summit goals.
The officials said Cohn would push for “more efficient and cleaner fossil fuels” and a “global approach” to cutting greenhouse gas emissions that doesn’t hurt the U.S. economy.
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