President Donald Trump privately told several confidants that he will be pulling out of the Paris climate deal, three sources with direct knowledge told Axios.
The president refused Saturday to join his Group of 7 (G7) counterparts in a pledge to uphold the 195-nation Paris Agreement. Trump tweeted that he will make his decision next week, signaling that he has yet to officially make up his mind.
I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2017
Pulling out of the Paris climate deal would unravel Obama-era climate change policies, and possibly the agreement itself. Dropping the agreement would also send a message to the world that climate change is not a pressing issue for the new administration.
White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said earlier that if Trump is faced with a choice between growing the economy and fighting global warming, Trump will choose the economy.
“If it comes to a choice between measures to curtail global warming under the 2015 Paris climate accord and growing the U.S. economy, economic considerations would prevail,” Cohn told reporters on Air Force One Thursday.
Cohn, along with Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson favor the agreement, while Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt are against it. Pruitt was reportedly among those in which Trump confided that he intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
Trump’s unwillingness to pledge support for the climate deal upset certain European partners, specifically Germany’s Chanellor Angela Merkel. “The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying,” she told reporters, “There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris Agreement or not.”
“His basis for decision ultimately is going to be what’s best for the United States,” Cohn said Saturday.