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September 20, 2017

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White House refutes reported change in US stance on climate dea

The White House said Saturday there was no change in the US decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord in response to published reports indicating the administration had softened its stance.

"There has been no change in the United States' position on the Paris agreement," a White House statement quoting Lindsay Walters said. "As the President has made abundantly clear, the United States is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms that are more favorable to our country."

The statement came after the Wall Street Journal and AFP quoted Miguel Arias Canete, a top European climate official, saying the US will "not re-negotiate the Paris accord, but will try to review the terms on which they could be engaged under this agreement."

The climate official met Saturday in Montreal with ministers from some 30 countries to push forward on implementing the Paris deal.

President Donald Trump announced June 1 that he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, but he also left open the door to negotiating a better deal for US businesses and workers.

"We are getting out, but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that's fair," Trump said.

Trump's decision only began the process of withdrawing, a move that will not be completed until 2020. In the meantime, the administration is not holding itself to commitments made under the previous administration to limit emissions and otherwise abide by the deal.

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