White House meeting on Paris climate deal postponed: official

U.S. President Trump walks to Marine One before departing for Wisconsin from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A White House meeting that was to help determine whether the United States should withdraw from the Paris climate accord has been postponed, an administration official said on Tuesday.

Some of President Donald Trump’s top advisers, including Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, were scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss how Trump should handle the 2015 climate deal.

The meeting was canceled because “some of the principals are traveling today,” the White House official said.

The meeting will be rescheduled, but no date has been set, the official said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters on Air Force One as Trump was returning from a visit to Wisconsin that the meeting “could be as soon as tomorrow, but I know that they’re working on trying to find a time that works for everybody.”

The accord, agreed on by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015 and ratified in 2016, aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Under the pact, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

Trump has said the United States should “cancel” the deal, but he has been mostly quiet on the issue since he was elected last November.

The White House has said it would take a position on the agreement before a summit of the Group of Seven wealthy nations in late May.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Dan Grebler and Peter Cooney)