President Trump dug in his heels last night over committing America to the climate deal signed by President Obama, citing fears that such an agreement could threaten US jobs.
On the first day of a two-day meeting of the G7 leaders at Taormina in Sicily, the host, Paolo Gentiloni, the Italian prime minister, said that the US leader had yet to be convinced not to back out of the Paris Accord, which seeks to limit emissions.
Gary Cohn, Mr Trump’s economic adviser, said that Mr Trump had stuck to prioritising the issue of US jobs, which he believes are threatened by shifting to clean energy. He said that the president “wants to do the right thing for the environment, he cares about the environment, but he also cares very much about creating jobs for American workers”.After the first round of talks, Mr Gentiloni said: “We are hopeful that the US will want to participate and we hope there are positive decisions in the coming days or weeks.”
Mr Cohn hinted that the president might yet be convinced, saying after the session that the president felt “much much more knowledgeable” on the topic than he did previously. He said that Mr Trump had told the G7 leaders that the environment was “very, very important” to him and that he had even cited environmental awards that he had received.