Nearly six months after announcing a pull out of Paris climate accord, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that United States could “conceivably” return to the climate change pact. Trump had announced his intention to pull out of 2015 accord in June last year.
“Frankly, it’s an agreement that I have no problem with, but I had a problem with the agreement that they signed, because, as usual, they made a bad deal,” Trump told a news conference.
“So we can conceivably go back in,” he added renewing questions about whether US actually intends to withdraw or simply wants easier emissions targets.
A full US pullout could jeopardize global efforts to limit average warming to under two degrees Celsius over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.
Standing alongside Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Trump presented himself as a champion of environmentalism. “I feel very strongly about the environment,” he said adding, “We want to have clean water, clean air, but we also want businesses that can compete.”
“One of the great assets of Norway is a thing called water,” Trump said. “They have tremendous hydro power, tremendous. In fact most of your energy or your electricity is produced by hydro. I wish we would do some of that.”
The US president has at times seemed torn between advisors like his daughter Ivanka, who advocate for policies that mitigate the effects of climate change, and aides who believe international accords hold America back.
In the year since coming to office, Trump’s administration has worked to ease environmental legislation, which industry considers a burden on growth.
“The Paris Accord really would have taken away our competitive edge. And we are not going to let that happen,” he said.
(With inputs from Agencies)