Trump officials postpone meeting on Paris climate pact

Trump officials postpone meeting on Paris climate pact
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Trump administration officials have postponed a meeting scheduled for Tuesday to discuss the U.S. government’s position on the Paris climate change agreement.

A White House spokeswoman said early Tuesday that the meeting was postponed because some people involved were due to travel with President Trump to Milwaukee on the same day. It has not been rescheduled, and it is unclear when it will be.

Bloomberg News first reported the meeting’s postponement.

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The behind-closed-doors event was scheduled to try to bridge a growing rift in the administration between officials who want Trump to exit the agreement and those who want him to keep the U.S. in it.

It was expected to include officials pushing President Trump to exit the agreement, such as Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt and White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, as well as supporters of the pact, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Trump adviser Jared Kushner.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders denied the meeting was postponed because of disagreement among aides over Paris, and said attendees’ decisions to travel with Trump was the reason.

“It will be rescheduled at some point over the next couple of weeks,” she told reporters aboard Air Force One, carrying Trump to Wisconsin.

Nearly 200 countries agreed to the Paris accord in 2015, the first time that so many nations have agreed to cut or limit carbon dioxide emissions. Former President Obama was a leading figure in its formation.

Trump has so far not fulfilled a campaign promise to exit the agreement.

A growing group of Trump’s aides and allies are pushing him to stay in the pact to retain a voice on international climate policy and push conservative energy policy worldwide. Some of them want Trump to cut back on Obama’s non-binding pledge for the pact, which committed the United States to reduce its greenhouse gases 26 percent to 28 percent.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters last month that Trump would decide what to do with the Paris pact by the start of the Group of Seven meeting in Italy in late May.

This story was updated at 2:05 p.m.

Jordan Fabian contributed.