Trump aides postponed a meeting scheduled for Tuesday at which top advisers were set to offer the president a recommendation on whether to stick with the Paris climate accord. It is now unknown when the meeting will take place – the meeting was meant to provide a recommendation ahead of May’s G7 meeting. According to one White House official, the meeting was postponed simply due to scheduling conflicts.
Obama pledged to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases 26 to 28 percent by 2025, based on 2005 levels.
While Trump has already signed executive orders rolling back Obama-era regulations such as the clean power plan, opening federal land to coal mining, and rolling back new vehicle emissions standards, he has yet to back the US out of the Paris agreement as he pledged to do during his campaign. His advisers are thought to be split on the matter.
Trump’s advisor Steve Bannon, as well as Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, have both advocated for abandoning the agreement. Pruitt called the agreement a “bad deal” last week, forcing the US to shoulder an economic burden that other countries will not.
On the other hand, a more moderate contingent of Trump’s advisors, including his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, have made a case for sticking with the agreement. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson has advised “keeping a seat at the table.” The meeting was also expected to include energy secretary Rick Perry, economic advisor Gary Cohen, and national security advisor HR McMaster.
Unexpected support for the Paris deal has come from unlikely voices such as Exxon Mobil, who wrote a letter to the White House describing the deal as an “effective framework for addressing the risks of climate change.” Other oil giants such as BP and Shell also endorsed the deal, as well as a wide range of companies including Gap, General Mills, and many others.
A group of congressional Republicans also called on Trump to preserve the agreement, including Florida congressman Carlos Curbelo, who said it is “imperative that we maintain our seat at the table.”
“The world’s leading nations must work together to not only reduce the impact carbon emissions have on climate change, but also mitigate and prepare for the effects, which communities like ours are dealing with every day,” he added.
“It’s our hope the administration will take a responsible approach on this issue.”