Published: Tue, May 09, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Trump will make decision on Paris climate pact after G7 summit

The White House on Tuesday postponed for a second time a key meeting on whether the United States should withdraw from the global Paris climate change pact advocated by former President Barack Obama.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump is continuing to hear from advisers on the pros and cons of the United States remaining in the global accord.

A meeting of top White House aides to discuss the agreement had been scheduled for Tuesday.

The State Department official said that the U.S. was focused on ensuring that no decisions are made in Bonn next week "that would prejudice our future policy", undermine competitiveness for American businesses or restrict USA economic growth.

It was the second time a meeting on the Paris accord was scrubbed; an initial conversation between aides about the future of USA participation in the accord was pushed back by a week last month.

Meanwhile, representatives of almost 200 countries that are party to the Paris agreement are meeting in Bonn this week to discuss technical aspects of implementing the accord.

To that end, Ivanka Trump will hold a separate meeting Tuesday with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, the official said.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will host the biennial Arctic Council meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, later this week.

Advisers had been under pressure to deliver a final recommendation to Trump ahead of the May 26-27 G7 meeting. But, like that larger meeting, the session between Ivanka Trump and Pruitt was postponed.

A senior administration official told the Associated Press that Trump has been inclined to step away from the deal, but his daughter Ivanka Trump created a review process to ensure he was briefed by experts before making a decision.

Under the Paris deal, brokered by former President Barack Obama and world leaders in 2015, nations agreed to non-binding pledges to cap or reduce emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. There was a very good discussion.

Meanwhile, at a summit in Milan, Italy, focused on climate change and food availability, President Barack Obama defended the Paris agreement earlier Tuesday, saying the U.S. must show leadership and not "sit on the sidelines".

Former President Obama, appearing at a food innovation summit in Milan, said that "during the course of my presidency, I made climate change a top priority, because I believe that for all the challenges that we face, this is the one that will define the contours of this century, more dramatically perhaps than any other".

"We have been able to bring our emissions down even as we grow our economy". Though the agreement envisioned updated targets being more ambitious - not less - there's nothing prohibiting a country from downgrading its targets, the Obama officials have said.

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