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White House Divided Over Trump’s Pledge To Cancel Obama’s Paris Climate Deal

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CNN

President Donald Trump’s key advisers remain divided on the issue of climate change as they prepare to discuss whether the United States should remain a party to the Paris Climate Agreement.

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“Senior officials will meet this week to discuss the options, with the goal of providing a recommendation to the President about the path forward,” a senior White House official told CNN.

A State Department official offered: “As with many issues, the administration is reviewing the United States’ international climate change policies. At this point, we do not have any decisions to announce.”

Two distinct camps have formed within the administration along fault lines separating the anti-establishment wing from the more moderate wing of the White House.

On one side are chief strategist Steve Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who want the United States to back away from the agreement. Pruitt told “Fox & Friends” last week: “Paris is something that we really need to look at closely, because it’s something we need to exit in my opinion.”

They’ve found themselves at odds with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has argued the deal gives the United States an important seat at the table in international negotiations, and that withdrawing now could erode faith in US leadership, particularly with China and key allies in Europe.

During his confirmation hearing, Tillerson said climate change “will require a global response.”

“Countries that attempt to influence this by acting alone are probably only harming themselves,” he added. “I think it’s important that the US maintain a seat at that table so that we can also judge the level of commitment of the other 189 or so countries that are around that table, and again, adjust our own course, accordingly.”

The agreement has 194 countries that are signatories and 143 countries that have ratified the agreement.

The President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner — both top White House advisers, are also reportedly in favor of the climate accord.