WASHINGTON White House advisers and Trump administration officials will meet on Thursday to discuss whether the United States should remain in the Paris climate agreement, a White House official said on Wednesday.
The meeting, which will include member of the National Economic Council and cabinet officials such as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, was scheduled for 1:30 P.M. EDT (1730 GMT) after being postponed earlier this month.
The administration is expected to make a decision on whether to remain a party to the deal by the time leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations meet in late May.
The accord, agreed by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015, would 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 under Trump's predecessor President Barack Obama committed to reducing its emissions by between 26 and 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
During the 2016 presidential election campaign Trump described climate change as a hoax that was stifling policies to improve economic growth.
On Earth Day on Saturday as tens of thousands of people took part in a "March for Science" Trump said in a statement that "rigorous science is critical to my administration's efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection."
Last month, the EPA's Pruitt said in an interview with CNBC TV that he did not agree that carbon dioxide was the primary contributor to global warming and that the Paris climate accords were a "bad deal" and should have gone through Congress as a treaty.
Trump's advisers have been divided on whether to stay or leave, prompting business leaders, lawmakers and other foreign representatives to weigh in and send letters to the president over the last few days.
(Reporting by Steve Holland, Valerie Volcovici; editing by Grant McCool)