The Wall Street Journal got the scoop on Saturday that the United States would be reversing its decision to back out of the Paris Climate Accord. According to an EU official, the U.S. had said it would "not renegotiate the Paris Accord, but will instead review its terms." As soon as the news broke, however, the White House denied the claims and reasserted its original position that it would, indeed, be pulling out of the Paris climate deal.
WH spox denies WSJ story claiming US might stay in Paris accords -- saying position hasn't changed...— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) September 16, 2017
JUST IN: There has been "no change" in the United States' position on the Paris agreement, a White House official says, per @KellyO— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 16, 2017
"There has been no change in the United States' position on the Paris agreement. 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," a White House statement said.
About four months ago, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would pull out of the Paris accord, a deal that had been struck in 2015 and 189 out of 192 of the world’s nations agree upon. His decision was met with intense backlash, and even resulted in a joint statement by leaders of the world’s most powerful countries that effectively blamed Donald Trump for the group’s inability to reach an agreement on climate change.
The WSJ initially reported that the U.S. appeared ready to renegotiate and re-enter the climate deal during an informal meeting of 30 environmental ministers from around the world led by Canada, China, and the European Union held in Montreal this weekend to discuss how to begin implementing the Paris accord. Representatives from the U.S. are present at the meeting.
The report appeared to come from a statement given by Arias Cañete, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, who said: "The U.S. has stated that they will not renegotiate the Paris accord, but they will try to review the terms on which they could be engaged under this agreement."
Despite the confusion, it appears as though Trump's initial statement remains true: the U.S. will remain out of the agreement unless the terms can be renegotiated to somehow benefit the U.S. even more, because helping to combat climate change isn't enough of an incentive, apparently.