Adviser: Trump Views On Paris Accord 'Evolving'

Lauren Perry
May 27, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump has yet to decide whether to honour a U.S. commitment to greenhouse gas emissions and has pushed back against a lattice of worldwide trade accords that he says have hurt American economic interests.

The chief economic adviser for President Trump told reporters at the G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily, that the president "is leaning to understand the European position" on the Paris Climate Accord.

Trump tweeted earlier in the day that he would make a final decision next week on whether to withdraw from the climate pact.

Trump is meeting with leaders from the G-7 nations in Sicily.

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Mr Trump was still considering the matter, but added that he believed Washington would in the end honour its commitment to cut green house gas emissions under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Leaders from the world's major industrialised nations failed to persuade US President Donald Trump to back a landmark climate deal at a G7 summit in Sicily on Friday after hours of talks that were described by Germany's leader as "controversial".

Friends of the Earth CEO Craig Bennett said Mr Trump - who once dismissed man-made climate change as a Chinese-inspired hoax - risked turning the U.S. into a "pariah state" unless he finally came out in support of the Agreement, which aims to stop global temperatures from rising more than two degrees centigrade and was accepted by his predecessor Barack Obama previous year.

The build-up to the summit has seen even the terrorism issue, normally a unifying subject, sow division with Britain enraged that intelligence it shared with the United States in relation to the Manchester attack, including pictures of the bomb, was leaked to the New York Times and other USA media.

But after the pomp of presidential travel overseas, Trump will return to Washington to find the same problems that have dogged him.

After the pomp of presidential travel overseas, Trump will return to Washington and numerous problems he left behind.

"His views are evolving, and he came here to learn", Cohn said.

"This is fantastic", Trump said as he travelled along Taormina's panoramic central street, Corso Umberto, which overlooks the Mediterranean and an ancient Greek amphitheatre perched above it.

The summit, being held near Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna, is the final leg of a nine-day tour for Trump which started in the Middle East. Any decision on climate change would ultimately be based on what's best for the United States, Cohn said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised what she called "a very hard, not to say very unsatisfactory" discussion with Trump on the issue.

A solution discussed in Washington could be to remain in the Paris Agreement but launch a re-examination of United States objectives.

In Brussels on Thursday, Trump excoriated fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders whose countries don't meet the military alliance's financial goals. "However, we also stand ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase costs on Russian Federation should its actions so require", the final statement read. If the United States were to "cancel" the deal, as Trump puts it, the impact would be substantial and mark a huge setback in the global effort to curb climate change. It also rattled some diplomatic experts over the president's decision to not explicitly express the US commitment to NATO's Article 5 collective defense treaty.

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations met with African heads of state and government on Saturday at the Italian town of Taormina, discussing issues like migration, development, among others.

In March, the United States got the G20 to drop its traditional pro-free trade stance, but Trump has postponed a decision on whether to abandon his country's commitments to curbing carbon emissions until after Taormina.

Other reports by VgToday

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