Trump Conflicted on Paris Climate Accord


The White House cancelled a second internal meeting Tuesday on the controversial Paris climate agreement that President Donald Trump.

The cancellation is likely a sign Trump is still conflicted about whether to deliver on his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the bargain or to listen to advisers urging him to spare the deal.

"It would restore and return us to our treaty process, which would send a very strong signal to our negotiating partners."

To Trump, it is likely a huge signal to the rest of the world -- especially the G7 league of industrialized nations -- that he wants to hear what the G7 leaders say before he acts. He also likely wants to extract assurances and a deal.

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A number of advisers -- likely his moderate wing -- reportedly want Trump to stay in the Paris Accord.

Trump meets with the G7 leaders, who include German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May, on May 26 and 27 in Sicily, Italy. The meeting will be the capstone of Trump's first overseas trip.

The Paris agreement is a global deal, not a treaty, that was drafted in 2015. It went into effect on Nov. 4, according to CNN.

So far, 145 countries have ratified or accepted it, including China, the world's top polluter, according to CNN.

But the United States has been the nation the agreement hinges upon. The United States uses about a fifth of the world's power. And if the United States pulls out, the carbon emissions goals fall apart.

Aside from obvious potential economic considerations, critics of the deal point to the unfair nature of the bargain. China and India are growing economies using lots of fossil fuels, yet they escape the harshest targets under the agreement. They could also cheat.

Carbon-emissions regulations could cost trillions of dollars over decades. They could also force less production of power, especially in industrialized nations.

Trump has been sharply critical of that.

Trump is also under tremendous pressure to pull out of the accord, and the pressure is coming from the conservative base.

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has argued that canceling the Paris accord will uphold Trump's campaign promises to American energy producers, including coal miners, according to reports.

Forty self-described free-market organizations called on Trump, , to keep his campaign promise and withdraw the U.S. from the Paris agreement.

Attorney Christopher C. Horner, a senior legal fellow for the Energy and Environment Legal Institute and a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told LifeZette on Tuesday that if Trump withdraws the nation from the Paris agreement, he will be sending a strong signal to other world leaders the U.S. will not be rolled in international negotiations.

"It would restore and return us to our treaty process, which would send a very strong signal to our negotiating partners -- the opposite signal of what the 'remainers' are claiming," Horner said. "[Trump] would be sending a signal that you can't work with an administration to circumvent our process as these parties did and have it stand up. You might as well go legit."

On Tuesday, in response to a question from LifeZette, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the day's cancelled meeting on the Paris accord wasn't a bad sign, one way or the other.

"I think it's simply a sign that the president wants to continue to meet with his team," said Spicer. "[To] ... meet with not just the national -- the economic piece, but his environmental team and come to a decision on what's the best interest of the United States using the expertise that surrounds him."