White House denies report that Trump changed mind on Paris climate accord

WASHINGTON (KTRK) -- President Donald Trump is standing firm in his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord despite reports indicating otherwise, the White House said Saturday.

A Wall Street Journal report cited an unnamed European Union energy official claiming Pres. Trump had offered to "re-engage in the international deal to fight climate change" during a meeting with 30 other international officials.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders later tweeted that the administration's position on the agreement had not changed. "@POTUS has been clear, US withdrawing unless we get pro-America terms," she wrote.

Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the landmark agreement in June, defying many of the country's top allies and drawing widespread criticism.

At the time, Trump said the agreement disadvantaged the U.S. "to the exclusive benefit of other countries," leaving American businesses and taxpayers to absorb the cost.

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more dangerous levels of warming sooner as a result of the president's decision because America contributes so much to rising temperatures. Calculations suggest withdrawal could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide in the air a year - enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather.

The U.S. is the world's second-largest emitter of carbon, following only China. Beijing, however, has reaffirmed its commitment to meeting its targets under the Paris accord, recently canceling construction of about 100 coal-fired power plants and investing billions in massive wind and solar projects.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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