Trump Administration May Not Find Middle Ground on Paris Climate Deal

Scott Pruitt has previously told energy executives he wants to be pro-environment and pro-growth

The Paris agreement itself is really an array of individual, country-specific pledges, such as the USA promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

"The Paris Agreement is a hard-won achievement which is in keeping with the underlying trend of global development", Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the World Economic Forum earlier this year.

Pruitt's comments increase the likelihood the USA will pull out of the agreement, which requires governments to present national plans to reduce emissions to limit global temperature rise, as well as regularly report on their progress.

According to Politico, Bannon and Pruitt want Trump to withdraw the US from the agreement, while Kushner and Tillerson stand on the opposite side of the issue.

Last summer, the group called the Paris deal "the latest in a series of costly policy choices the USA government has made because of its participation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)", and it urged the United States government to withdraw from the UNFCCC altogether.

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As the Trump administration debates whether to stay in the Paris climate agreement, observers are skeptical that opposing wings of the administration will reach a middle ground. Coal baron Robert E. Murray has been outspoken in criticizing the deal, arguing it's "just a way for other countries to get American money".

The meeting comes ahead of a summit of the Group of Seven wealthy nations in late May, which White House spokesman Sean Spicer said was the deadline for the decision. But he did not specifically say what the U.S.'s promises should be.

The advisers and Cabinet officials hope to be able to reach consensus on a recommendation to the president, though that could prove hard, as they are divided over whether to abandon the agreement.

US President Donald Trump's top environment official has called for an "exit" from the historic Paris agreement in what appeared to be the first time such a high-ranking official has so explicitly disavowed the agreement endorsed by almost 200 countries to fight climate change.

Chevron Corp. Chief Executive Officer John Watson said in a Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy podcast that more needs to be known about how the Paris accord will translate into policy under Trump. The White House did not confirm on Monday that the meeting would happen.

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"The past administration said we had to choose between the environment and job growth". Multi-national corporations, like Exxon, want to avoid diplomatic blowback and no doubt see it as a boon to their natural gas holdings.

Trump may also choose to stay in the agreement and reduce the emissions commitment.

McKenna said a carbon tax seemed to be the only possible change to the U.S.'s commitments that would make them more ambitious and could also be construed as better for the economy.

What role will energy markets play in determining policy?

Pruitt announced the change this week. "The coal companies and oil and gas companies that are flirting with the Paris agreement don't understand the existential threat that they're buying into".

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