White House cancels meeting to decide stance on climate pact

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

BC-US--Trump-Paris Accord,3rd Ld-Writethru

04/18/2017 2:51PM - 685 words

By JILL COLVIN and SETH BORENSTEIN , Associated Press

Eds: Updates with meeting postponed. With AP Photos.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House meeting today where President Donald Trump's aides were to hash out whether to keep the U.S. as part of an international agreement to reduce climate-warming carbon emissions has been postponed.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed the postponement on scheduling conflicts among some of the advisers who were expected to attend the meeting. She said the meeting will be rescheduled.

Officials had planned to discuss options, with the goal of providing a recommendation to Trump, according to an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity despite the president's criticism of the use of anonymous sources.

The nonbinding international agreement was forged in Paris in December 2015 and allowed rich and poor countries to set their own goals to reduce carbon dioxide. It went into effect last November after the U.S., China and other countries ratified it.

Trump's top advisers are divided on the issue. Some, including Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, are eager for the U.S. to leave the deal.

"Paris is something that we need to really look at closely, because it's something we need to exit, in my opinion," Pruitt said in an interview last week with Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends." ''It's a bad deal for America. It was an America second, third or fourth kind of approach."