President Trump is reportedly pulling the United States from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Sources say the President is consulting with senior officials on the process. Trump met Tuesday morning with EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to discuss the Paris climate agreement, press secretary Sean Spicer said. Pruitt has been a vocal proponent of withdrawing from the accord.
The decision to pull out of the agreement comes after weeks of speculation. In conversations with European leaders, western diplomats and aides during his first international trip, Trump indicated he was poised to honor his campaign commitments to either withdraw from the agreement altogether or make significant changes to the US carbon reduction goals that underpin its participation in the accord.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, has said withdrawing from the agreement could harm US negotiating power. Ahead of Trump’s foreign trip, Tillerson insisted the White House reschedule a meeting between advisers to discuss the climate agreement so that he could attend. Like Trump, the secretary of state faced pressure from foreign diplomats to maintain US participation in the climate agreement.
Tillerson’s former employer Exxon Mobil, along with dozens of other US firms, have also been proponents of remaining in the agreement. Exxon’s CEO wrote Trump personally earlier this month urging him to remain in the deal, saying doing so means “a seat at the negotiating table to ensure a level playing field.”
Even some Republicans in Congress have argued for remaining part of the agreement. Sen. Lindsay Graham told CNN on Sunday that a withdraw “means that the leader of the Republican Party is in a different spot than the rest of the world.”
But other voices, including that of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and EPA administrator Pruitt, appear to have held more sway. Conservative Republicans in Congress began a pressure campaign as Trump prepared his final decision, urging him to withdraw.
The agreement was signed by 195 other countries. President Obama considered it one of his greatest achievements.