President Trump won’t be pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement on climate change after all, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The paper reported Saturday afternoon an official with the European Union said Trump will review the terms of the deal for the United States, but the United States will not be pulling out of the deal to renegotiate.
“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,” European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete told the Journal.
The announcement comes about three months after Trump held a ceremony announcing the United States would be leaving the agreement. The first-of-its-kind agreement would see all the world’s nations, save for three, commit to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit the rate of global warming.
“I am fighting every day for the great people of this country. Therefore, in order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” Trump said at the time.
Many scientists believe the burning of fossil fuels causes climate change.
Trump is notoriously a climate change doubter and has in the past called the idea of manmade global warming “bullshit” and “a hoax” started by the Chinese in order to harm American manufacturing.
He has not gone on record recently stating what his current position is on whether climate change is real and caused by human activities. When asked earlier this week by reporters on Air Force One, Trump ignored the question.
The White House denied the report.
“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 spokesperson said in a statement.
The Paris Agreement was completed in December and saw 196 countries from around the world come together to try to limit global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius. Many scientists believe mankind is causing climate change through the burning of fossil fuels, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and subsequently causing the globe to warm.
Each country came up with their own plan to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. But the commitments are not legally binding and critics say the deal lacks teeth.
The United States has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions between 26 and 28 percent over 2005 levels by 2030. It would have taken about four years for the U.S. to fully leave the deal.
The Paris Agreement also contains commitments from rich countries to send money to poorer countries in order for them to develop more clean energy sources. Those financial commitments are also not legally binding.
The countries agree to meet every five years to reassess their greenhouse gas reduction commitments with an eye toward ramping up the reductions, if possible.