Here's The Deal With Those Confusing Paris Climate Agreement Remarks


Confusion reigned supreme this weekend following conflicting reports about the United States' future in the Paris Climate Accord. But while multiple members of the Trump administration have spoken out on the issue, things seem more ambiguous than ever. So, is President Donald Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord or not?

Rumors began circulating Saturday that Trump was rethinking his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord following a report from the Wall Street Journal. The report cited a European climate official as saying the United States would "not re-negotiate the Paris Accord" but would rather "try to review the terms on which they could be engaged under this agreement."

The White House, however, was quick to refute that report, saying in a statement released Saturday that there "has been no change in the United States' position on the Paris agreement." The statement went on to say the president remained committed to completely withdrawing from the accord unless the United States was able to put forth new terms for its involvement. "As the president has made abundantly clear, the United States is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms that are more favorable to our country," USA Today reported the statement read.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also took steps to directly deny the report, tweeting Saturday, "Our position on the Paris agreement has not changed. @POTUS has been clear, US withdrawing unless we get pro-American terms."

In an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster echoed a similarly firm message, decrying the Wall Street Journal article as "a false report." He claimed the president was not rethinking his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. "The president decided to pull out of the Paris accord because it's a bad deal for the American people and it's a bad deal for the environment," Politico reported McMaster said Sunday. However, McMaster did note the president would likely be open to a new agreement that addressed concerns he'd had with the initial deal. "The president's ears are open if, at some point, they decide they can come forward with an agreement that addresses the president's very legitimate concerns with Paris," McMaster said.

But a televised interview with yet another Trump administration official made it seem as if the president was more willing to find a way to stay in the accord. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also weighed in on the nation's future in the Paris Climate Accord on Sunday, telling CBS's Face the Nation he thought there was a chance the United States could remain a part of the accord "under the right conditions." "The president said he is open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others on what we all agree is still a challenging issue," Tillerson reportedly said. The secretary of State appeared to suggest the president was willing to work with European climate officials to construct new terms Tillerson said would need to be more "fair" to the United States.

The White House did not immediately return Bustle's request for a comment.

President Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris Climate Accord in June, saying simply, "we're getting out." In a speech from the White House Rose Garden, Trump claimed complying with the Paris Accord and the "onerous energy restrictions" it placed on the country "could cost America as much as $2.7 million lost jobs by 2025." At the time, Trump said the United States would seek to begin new negotiations regarding the possibility of re-entering the accord under a better deal.

However, due to the terms and conditions of the Paris Climate Accord, the United States is not able to withdraw from the landmark deal until November of 2020, which means there's plenty of time for continued speculation.