President Donald Trump said the United States could “conceivably” return to the 2015 Paris climate accord.
He repeated to reporters what he said when he pulled out of the agreement last June, that it “was a bad deal for the US”.
But he said he had no problem with the agreement itself, “so we could conceivably go back in”.
Mr Trump’s decision last June would make the US in effect the only country not to be part of the accord.
There was huge anger both at home and abroad at his decision, with some calling it an abdication of US leadership on a key global challenge.
The Paris agreement commits countries to keeping the rise in global temperatures “well below” 2C more than pre-industrial levels and aiming for a tighter limit of 1.5C.
Mr Trump, in his latest comments, stressed his administration’s commitment to environmental issues, “clean water, clean air”, but added “we also want businesses that can compete”.
“The Paris accord really would have taken away our competitive edge, and we’re not going to let that happen,” he said.
Mr Trump has claimed in the past that the agreement would cost the US $3tn in lost GDP and 6.5 million jobs – while rival economies like China and India were treated more favourably.
When he announced last June he was pulling the US out of the accord, Mr Trump said he wanted to negotiate a new “fair” deal that would not disadvantage US businesses and workers.
He also said during the presidential election campaign that he wanted to help US oil and coal industries.
It was not clear from his comments on Wednesday whether he has embarked on any attempt to renegotiate America’s terms in the deal.
French President Emmanuel Macron in December said he would not agree to a renegotiation but was hopeful the US would return to the accord.
Analysts have said the US withdrawal from the Paris agreement makes it more difficult for the world to reach the goals that it set for itself in the Paris agreement.
The US contributes about 15% of global emissions of carbon, but it is also a significant source of finance and technology for developing countries in their efforts to fight rising temperatures.
No timescale for a US withdrawal from the accord has been given, although White House sources have previously suggested it could take up to four years.
Source: BBC World ले छापेको छ ।