Trump 'evolving' on climate action, pressured by Europeans

Lauren Perry
May 27, 2017

Six members of the Group of Seven plan to stick with their standing endorsement of the 2015 Paris deal to fight climate change by reining in greenhouse gas emissions and await a decision from the USA, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter before the formal G-7 announcement.

Trump ended his nine-day trip with a speech to US troops in Sicily, where he recounted his visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium and Italy and his work to counter terrorism.

Mohammed also said more resources are needed to protect against catastrophes and, at a news conference, called a move by the United States to cut its U.N. commitments "an alarm".

"The threat of terror is one that all our countries face and now more than ever we must strengthen our resolve to overcome this threat", said British Prime Minister Theresa May, who skipped the Saturday talks and returned home a day early because of the Manchester attack.

It is unclear what Trump might decide about the Paris agreement, and White House officials have signaled that he might strike a compromise that involves lowering the USA emissions targets that some industries see as constraining growth while staying in the accord.

Trump and his people are looking into the details of the Paris agreement and wondering how binding it is and whether the terms are feasible, said Cohn.

During Trump's presidential campaign, he vowed to his supporters to "renegotiate" the 194-nation agreement.

President Donald Trump is kicking off the final day of his first trip overseas with a meeting with Group of Seven and African nation leaders.

He backed away from his tough campaign talk about trade with China after a summit with President Xi Jinping.

"There is little expectation that the American President will be willing to share a constructive approach in this regard", says Monica Frassoni co-leader of the European Green Party.

Neither Trump nor the Pope revealed what their conversation entailed, but readouts from the White House and the Vatican highlighted terrorism, climate change and peace as agenda items covered.

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After deriding climate change as a hoax and pledging to pull out of the Paris accord during his election campaign, Trump has sidestepped the issue and passed up a number of opportunities to outline his worldwide stance on global warming.

Cohn hinted at that prospect as he briefed reporters Thursday night as Air Force One flew from Brussels to Sicily, the final stop on Trump's trip.

While cautioning reporters not to "read too much into this", Mr. Cohn said "we know that the levels that were agreed to by the prior administration would be highly crippling to the USA economic growth".

"Coal doesn't even make that much sense anymore as a feedstock", he said, referring to energy used for industry. He singled out natural gas as "such a cleaner fuel" and also noted that the USA could become a "manufacturing powerhouse" by investing in wind and solar energy.

Almost 200 countries are part of the Paris accord and each set their own emissions targets, which are not legally binding.

Trump has long railed against what he says are the economic dangers of the global climate agreement.

"All others have confirmed their total agreement on the accord".

In the first hint of a potential bromance between Trudeau, who is 44, and Emmanuel Macron, the boyish-looking 39-year-old French president elected a few weeks ago, the two men had a breezy first meeting together Friday. Six of them are fully committed to the Paris climate accord, a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Senior officials are preparing to work through the night of Friday to Saturday in a bid to bridge what appear to be irreconcilable differences over Mr Trump's declared intention of ditching the United States commitment to the landmark Paris accord on curbing carbon emissions.

"Advocates of the Clean Power Plan could argue that the United States' continued commitment to the Paris Agreement makes any effort to revise or rescind the Clean Power Plan arbitrary and capricious", the letter said.

"Our issues of, we've got to get the American economy growing again, we've got to get American workers back into better jobs, we've got to grow the middle class", he said.

Other reports by VgToday

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