by Felix von Geyer
The White House is split over whether or not to remain in the Paris Agreement to address climate change, according to one Capitol Hill source.
Where President Trump stated during his electoral campaign that any future Trump Administration would withdraw from the Paris Agreement while labelling climate change a hoax invented by the Chinese, the reality is that key staff members are at odds with Trump over the Paris Agreement revealed the source, a former White House official under George Bush and Barack Obama.
Both the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner are keen for the United States to remain in the Paris Agreement as are members of the National Security Counsel, Mike Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency and even former ExxonMobil Chairman, Rex Tillerson US Secretary of State, according to the source.
However, the spanner in the works comes from the right-wing lobby think-tank, the Heritage Foundation , one of several climate denying and obfuscation organizations heavily linked to funding by the multi-billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch.
The exact advice on offer from the Heritage Foundation former staffers remains unclear, however but the source, speaking under strict conditions of anonymity, described them as “lying to the President’s face.” At least eight Heritage Foundation members joined the original Trump transition team including appointments on his Executive Committee and within the US State Department and US Treasury departments.
The advantage of the US remaining in Paris is “that if you are already at the table, why would you wish to leave it?” the source added rhetorically.
A possible policy overture being considered by various staff members that could be made to persuade the President to remain in the Paris Agreement would be for the United States to withdraw its Intended Nationally Determined Commitment (INDC) to reduce its Greenhouse Gas Emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030. The US negotiated 2005 as the new baseline for reducing emissions versus the original 1990 levels set under the Kyoto Protocol at the 2007 Bali UNFCCC COP 13, partially as a measure to eliminate so-called Russian hot-air credits from any possible emissions trading schemes.
Asked by neworator.com how the United Nations would feel should Washington propose to remain in the Paris Agreement under the proviso it could withdraw its INDC, the UNFCCC’s Communications Director, Nick Nuttall declined to comment over “conversations that may or may not be happening.