WASHINGTON — President Trump said in an Oval Office meeting with the prime minister of Vietnam today that “you’re going to find out very soon” if the United States stays in the Paris climate agreement.
Asked whether he’s heard from CEOs and others with persuasive pitches on which way to go, Trump responded, “I’m hearing from a lot of people, both ways. Both ways.”
Reports have indicated that Trump is expected to withdraw from the agreement. Ivanka Trump is said to be lobbying for keeping the climate accord.
Trump tweeted this morning: “I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Trump vowed during the campaign to “cancel” the 2016 agreement between 145 countries that requires the United States to cut emissions from 2005 levels 26 to 28 percent by 2025. Leaders were expected to lobby him on maintaining U.S. participation during last week’s G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily.
“Look, as you know from the U.S., there’s very strong views on both sides. Both sides are running ads,” Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn told reporters May 26. “So he knows that in the U.S. there’s very strong opinions on both sides but he also knows that Paris has important meaning to many of the European leaders. And he wants to clearly hear what the European leaders have to say.”
Cohn said Trump was “leaning to understand the European position” on the climate pact.
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley told MSNBC on Tuesday that although she wouldn’t share them publicly, “I do have views and I have expressed those to the administration and we’ll see where it comes out.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday encouraged Trump to stay in the agreement and “make it a better deal for worldwide business interests, to improve the climate, better deal for business.”
“But if he does withdraw, that would be a definitive statement by the president that he believes climate change is a hoax,” Graham added. “Stay in the deal, make it a better deal, would be my advice.”
If Trump withdraws, Graham said, “it means that the leader of the Republican Party is in a different spot than the rest of the world.”
“It would be taken as a statement that climate change is not a problem, not real. That would be bad for the party, bad for the country,” he said. “Stay in the agreement, because it’s voluntary, and try to make the world respond to better business practices when it comes to cleaning up carbon.”
Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) today sent a letter to Trump asking the president “to consider the foreign relations and national security implications before your administration makes any final decision on the matter.”
“In addition to the myriad threats climate change poses to our nation’s military and security apparatus, leaving the Paris agreement would damage relationships with our allies and weaken American leadership on the global stage,” they wrote, citing the Pentagon’s 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap that states, “Climate change will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the Nation and poses immediate risks to U.S. national security.”
“The Office of the Director of National Intelligence makes similar findings in its 2016 report on the implications for U.S. national security of anticipated climate change. The report discusses a wide range of national security threats, including political instability, risks to human health, and increasing social and political tensions. The report cites a number of concerning examples current real world consequences of climate change, including the exploitation by terrorist groups of climate-driven famine, protests and violence sparked by water shortages, and refugee crises fueled by scarcity of resources,” the letter continues.
“These concerns have been further echoed by your Secretary of Defense, James Mattis. In responses to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Secretary Mattis noted that ‘Climate change can be a driver of instability and the Department of Defense must pay attention to potential adverse impacts generated by this phenomenon’ and that ‘Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today.’”