President Donald Trump's top advisers will meet on Tuesday to discuss whether to recommend that he withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, a White House official said on Monday.
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The accord, agreed upon by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015, aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. As part of the deal, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by between 26 and 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.
Trump in the past has said the United States should "cancel" the deal but he has been mostly quiet on the issue since he was elected.
A White House official said Trump's aides would "discuss the options, with the goal of providing a recommendation to the president about the path forward."
White House officials, led by the National Economic Council, have recently been asking publicly-traded energy companies for advice on whether to stay in the agreementbbb.
Major publicly traded coal companies such as Cloud Peak Energy Inc and Peabody Energy Corp confirmed to Reuters that they have told White House advisers it is in their interests for the United States to remain in the Paris agreeement to ensure there was a global role for high-efficiency coal plants.
"By remaining in the Paris Agreement, albeit with a much different pledge on emissions, you can help shape a more rational international approach to climate policy," Cloud Peak CEO Colin Marshall wrote in the letter dated April 6.
The advisers expected to attend Tuesday's meeting included Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Perry, a former Texas governor, at his confirmation hearings in January softened a previous position that the science behind climate change was "phony."
Last week, Pruitt, a former Oklahoma Attorney General, said the United States should "exit" the agreement because it was a "bad deal" for the country.
The meeting comes ahead of a summit of the Group of Seven wealthy nations in late May, which White House spokesman Sean Spicer said was the deadline for the decision.
Politico on Friday first reported a possible meeting of Trump advisers.
(Reporting By Steve Holland and Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Andrew Hay)