United States could 'conceivably' stay in Paris climate pact

Agence France-Presse

In her opening remarks at a joint news conference with the President, the prime minister brought up the subject of climate change-which Trump once deemed a "hoax" crafted by the Chinese-and stated her support for the Paris agreement on the issue from which Trump has withdrawn the U.S.

In a press briefing held with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on January 10, President Donald Trump said that US could "conceivably" re-enter into global climate change mitigation efforts under the Paris accord.

But Trump also said he has "no problem" with the agreement, "but I had a problem with the agreement that they signed, because as usual, they made a bad deal".

"We could conceivably go back in", Trump said.

The conservative prime minister had said before the meeting that she'd put climate on the agenda in the bilateral talks.

Mr Trump has claimed in the past that the agreement would cost the U.S. $3tn in lost GDP and 6.5 million jobs - while rival economies like China and India were treated more favourably.

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Moreover, the agreement hurt United States businesses overall and gave advantages to other countries such as China, Trump added. "I feel very strongly about the environment".

The formal process for exiting the Paris Agreement takes several years, and the United States therefore remains a party to the deal, which sets a goal of limiting average global temperature increases to "well below" 2C since before the end of the century. "We are a country rich in gas and coal and oil, and lots of other things, and there was a tremendous penalty for using it", he added. "It took away a lot of our asset values", President Trump said.

The president emphasised that he is not going to let the Paris agreement deny the USA competitive edge.

When announcing the exit, Trump kept the door open to rejoining the pact "on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers".

The treaty takes a bottom-up approach, with each country making its own commitments towards reducing the release of greenhouse gas emissions, and preparing for climate change.

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