Amid reports that the U.S. is reviewing the terms of the Paris climate agreement and examining a potential re-entry, climate advocates expressed doubts this weekend about changes in President Donald Trump’s climate policy and about the White House’s insistence that it will renegotiate the hard-won climate accord in any meaningful way.
Some news outlets reported Saturday that a summit in Montreal, attended by representatives from 30 countries that signed the accord—with a U.S. delegation observing from the sidelines—left officials with the impression that Trump could reconsider his decision to withdraw from the agreement.
MIguel Arias Canete, the European Union’s commissioner for climate action, said that the U.S. “stated that they will not renegotiate the Paris accord, but they will try to review the terms on which they could be engaged under this agreement.”
Ben Schreiber, senior political strategist for Friends of the Earth, stressed that any reports of real change in Trump’s climate agenda are false alarms.
“This latest fire drill on the Paris agreement proves only one thing: Donald Trump can’t be trusted,” said Schreiber in a statement. “Even if Trump does decide to stay in the Paris Agreement, it will not be a victory for the planet because Trump’s actions have made it clear that he has no intention of doing our fair share on climate change.”
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The White House said on Saturday that its policy has always been that it would leave the climate accord unless its terms can be renegotiated to Trump’s satisfaction. But after a years-long process of hammering out a deal to which 175 parties countries have signed on, other world leaders have rejected this possibility.
“The Paris agreement should not be renegotiated,” said Xie Zhenhua, the climate representative for China at the meeting in Montreal, which was called so countries could discuss how to move forward without the U.S. Though China is one of the world’s biggest carbon polluters, it has emerged as a leader in renewable energy in recent years and has been steadfast in its commitment to the Paris accord.
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