President Donald Trump likely won’t make a decision on the Paris climate treaty until he returns to the U.S., Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters today.
The Vatican Secretary of State pressed Trump on climate change today and asked the president to keep the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement.
"But we had a good exchange [on] the difficulty of balancing addressing climate change, responses to climate change, and ensuring that you still have a thriving economy and you can still offer people jobs so they can feed their families and have a prosperous economy," Tillerson said, according to a pool report. "And that’s a difficult balancing act to take, and so I think we had a good exchange there, and we look forward to having further talks with them on climate policy."
Pope Francis had welcomed Trump to the Vatican by handing Trump a signed copy of his encyclical calling for action on climate change. Tillerson said he did not know if the Pope discussed the issue with Trump.
When asked about the meeting on Air Force One, Tillerson said Trump "hasn’t made a final decision" on the Paris deal and likely will not until "after we get home."
That means Trump will likely spend two days starting Friday getting pressure to stay in the deal from the heads of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The Trump administration has left its options open in the preparation for the G-7 meeting, refusing to offer clear positions on climate change as part of the advance preparations typical for high level meetings.
Trump will meet with G-7 leaders, and possibly make a decision after he returns home next week.