US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the US could stay in the Paris Agreement on climate change under right conditions.
“Under the right conditions, the President said he’s open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others in what we all agree is a challenging issue,” said Tillerson in an interview with CBS on Sunday.
Tillerson’s remarks were in line with previous statements from the US State Department which said that the US is “open to re-engaging in the Paris Agreement if the US can identify terms that are more favourable to it, its business, its workers, its people, and its taxpayers”, Xinhua news agency reported.
US President Donald Trump on June 1 announced his decision to withdraw from Paris Agreement, citing concerns about the accord’s threat to the US economy as a main reason for the withdrawal.
“The cost to the economy at this time (by 2040) would be close to $3 trillion in lost GDP and 6.5 million industrial jobs,” said Trump then, citing figures from a disputed study commissioned by the American Council for Capital Formation and the US Chamber of Commerce, both known for lobbying against climate regulations.
The decision to withdraw fulfilled a crucial campaign promise by Trump, who once called climate change “a hoax”.
In his first budget request, Trump also proposed a 31 per cent reduction in funding the US Environment Protection Agency.
Yet, despite his decision to leave the Paris Agreement, Trump would stick to the four-year-long withdrawal process stipulated by the Paris Agreement, which means that the US withdrawal won’t take effect till November 2020, about two months away from the end of his first term.