Update: it took about 10 minutes for the White House to deny the WSJ report, with the NYT and Bloomberg reporting that a White House spokesman has denied the WSJ story claiming US might stay in Paris accords, saying "position hasn't changed." Bloomberg confirms the White House comment, stating that there is "no change" in the US position on the Paris Deal, and that US will withdraw unless presented with "more favorable terms."
WH spox denies WSJ story claiming US might stay in Paris accords -- saying position hasn't changed...— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) September 16, 2017
We were told earlier today a US official said in Montreal at climate ministers mtg US open to staying in Paris accord & just tweak elements. https://t.co/GeKHGC1zEz— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) September 16, 2017
Meanwhile, it now appears that the locus of "fake news" has shifted from DC to Brussels...
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In the latest stunning reversal by the Trump administration, the WSJ reports that White House officials said Saturday "the U.S. wouldn’t pull out of the Paris Agreement, offering to re-engage in the international deal to fight climate change," according to the European Union’s top energy official. As Bloomberg adds, the U.S. has indicated it will not seek a renegotiation of the Paris accord to cut greenhouse gases and instead signaled it wants to re-engage in the agreement, according to EU climate chief Miguel Arias Canete.
“At the same time they indicate they intend to rethink how they can re-engage in Paris in ways they consider more favorable for the U.S." Canete told Bloomberg in a phone interview and added that "we assume that means that the U.S. will revisit at some time the targets put forward by the previous administration."
“Now we don’t see the messages that they are withdrawing from the Paris agreement radically. We don’t see anymore the message that they will renegotiate the Paris agreement. The message coming from the ministers today is that those present in the meeting will not renegotiate the Paris agreement."
The WSJ then further notes that the shift from President Donald Trump’s decision in June to renegotiate the landmark accord or craft a new deal came during a meeting of more than 30 ministers led by Canada, China and the European Union in Montreal.
Echoing what he told Bloomberg, “The U.S. has stated that they will not renegotiate the Paris accord, but they will try to review the terms on which they could be engaged under this agreement,” Miguel Arias Cañete said.
White House senior adviser Everett Eissenstat unveiled the U.S. plan, according to an official at Saturday’s gathering, as Ottawa, Beijing and Brussels accelerate their joint effort to minimize the fallout from a potential U.S. withdrawal from the Paris agreement.
Ironically, Washington’s move may prove a pyrrhic victory for Paris Agreement champions as the U.S. is expected to significantly reduce its ambition to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, which would be in line with Trump’s goal of clinching “fairer terms,” the official said. Which is strange as Trump's concession would be perceived by his base as yet another reversal by the president on not only a core campaign promise, but a matter of policy that many thought had been put to rest by the president.
Then again, maybe the two Cat 5 hurricanes in the past month changed Trump's mind...