White House meeting on Paris climate accord postponed

Cheryl Sanders
May 15, 2017

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron will defend a global climate deal signed in 2015 in Paris, he told U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday.

The Bonn meeting, a technical discussion held every year to prepare for an annual round of political-level negotiations, have been overshadowed by fears that a United States withdrawal would throw the entire process into disarray.

Trump has recently delayed a decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which asks participating countries to do things like cut greenhouse gas emissions so the global average temperature doesn't rise too much.

Pro-Paris Trump officials have been bolstered by multinational corporations and European leaders who've been lobbying the administration to stay in the agreement that was hashed out in Paris, France in 2015.

Trump is still considering whether the US will remain in the agreement, which was reached under the Obama administration, The Washington Post reported last week.

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.

The May 8-18 Bonn meeting is meant to start drafting a "rulebook" to guide member countries in executing the pact, which seeks to brake global warming by curbing fossil fuel emissions.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Condoleeza Rice also made a case for the agreement in a recent Oval Office meeting. In their phone call on Tuesday, Xi congratulated Macron on his election win and emphasized China's continued support for an integrated Europe and hopes that relations with France would "stride onto a new platform".

Trump and his top climate and economic aids will kick-off discussions in earnest on Tuesday in the United States, a senior administration official said, adding that "they are meeting tomorrow at 1.30 pm".

Advisers had been under pressure to deliver a final recommendation to Trump ahead of the May 26-27 G7 meeting.

A Tuesday White House meeting on the Paris agreement has been postponed to an as-yet-unspecified later date, the White House confirmed Monday evening. But Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has said called the Paris pact "a bad deal for America".

The former president said climate change "is already making it more hard to produce food". The postponement also allows more time for top administration officials to hash out the potential benefits and legal risks of remaining in the global carbon-cutting pact reached among almost 200 nations in December 2015.

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