President Donald Trump hasn’t yet decided whether to keep the U.S. in the landmark Paris agreement on climate change but is leaning toward exiting the accord, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The administration is preparing for several different outcomes and is lining up experts to speak to the media when an announcement is made, according to another person familiar with the discussions who, like the others, requested anonymity ahead of a decision.
Top administration officials are divided on what to do, with some, including Ivanka Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, urging Trump to stay in the deal. Others, including Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, lead a faction that wants a U.S. exit.
There is consensus in the administration that the terms of the Paris deal must change, and it’s exploring whether that requires a full exit or a scaled-back U.S. commitment to cut emissions, according to one of the people. Trump is scheduled to meet with Tillerson at the White House on Wednesday, and the president said he’d declare an outcome soon.
“I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
Trump’s decision is highly anticipated, and leaders of the six other nations in the Group of Seven heavily lobbied him at a summit in Sicily last week to keep the U.S. in the pact. But Trump has called climate change a “hoax” and criticized the deal as “one-sided” against the U.S. White House legal advisers have warned that staying in the accord could undercut Trump’s efforts to rescind rules on power-plant emissions and methane leaks.
Axios reported earlier Wednesday that the president would exit the Paris deal, and the New York Times followed with a report that he is likely to pull the U.S. out of the accord. Several administration officials contacted by Bloomberg said that a decision hadn’t yet been made, and Trump has a record of shifting course on major decisions up until the last moment.