President Donald Trump's White House is divided over his campaign promise to "cancel" a 2015 Paris agreement among countries to combat global warming, with senior adviser Stephen Bannon urging the president to remove the U.S. from the agreement, according to government officials in a New York Times report.
On the opposing side, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Trump's daughter Ivanka say exiting the agreement could harm the country's credibility on diplomatic efforts.
The Times report said that next week Trump is planning to sign an executive order for Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt to reverse President Barack Obama's EPA regulations, which met the U.S.' obligations to the Paris accord.
In the Paris agreement, the Obama administration pledged to reduce carbon pollution by 26 percent by 2025, but that would require the installation of Obama’s EPA regulations.
Trump could not end the accord, which has been ratified and signed by 194 nations, but he could start a four-year process to end the involvement of the U.S., the world's largest economy and second-largest climate polluter, the Times report said.
Those in favor of exiting, such as Bannon, say it would show Trump fulfills his campaign promises.
"If the goal is to fulfill the president's campaign promises and implement his agenda, there is no value in staying in Paris," Thomas J. Pyle, Institute for Energy Research president, said, according to the Times.
Tillerson, during his Senate confirmation, was asked about the Paris agreement.
"It's important that the U.S. maintains its seat at the table about how to address the threat of climate change, which does require a global response," Tillerson said.
Although the agreement does not sanction its members if they do not meet their goals, foreign policy experts oppose withdrawing.
"I think it would be a major mistake, even a historic mistake, to disavow the Paris deal," R. Nicholas Burns, President George W. Bush's under-secretary of state, said.
"In international politics, trust, reliability, and keeping your commitments — that's a big part of how other countries view our country," Burns said.
The president could put the accord to a vote, shifting the decision to the U.S. Senate. If he decides that the accord is a treaty that would require the Senate to ratify it, it would likely fail there, the Times report said.
Patricia Espinosa, the United Nations' executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, has not gotten a response to her request to meet with Tillerson and other officials about global climate goals, according to The Guardian.
"It's a snub … not responding to the executive secretary is not good manners," Maria Ivanova, global governance expert at the University of Massachusetts, said.
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