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President Donald Trump believes that the Paris climate agreement is not a "great deal" for the US and he will abide by the international accord only if it improves the American economy and creates jobs, a senior administration official today said. "The president believes that the Paris climate agreement is not a great deal for America," the official said ahead of Trump's first foreign trip to the Middle East and Europe. "I am sure he will have discussions with different leaders, who have all said the standards are non-binding, and if you don't like it, you can change it," the official said on the condition of anonymity. The Paris accord, agreed by nearly 200 countries in 2015, would seek to limit global warming by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from burning fossil fuels. As part of the deal, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by between 26 per cent and 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025. During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump had promised to pull America out of the agreement. "I think that it's very simple: if the president could find a way to make it a good deal for America, then I am sure he would be open-minded to potentially staying in, but if he feels like it is a deal where other countries do nothing and are able to keep up high levels of pollutants, and it really put restrictions on American industry, then he's gonna get out," the official said. The Trump administration is currently doing a review of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
A decision on this is expected to be taken in the next few weeks. "Trump has got the right to get out," the official asserted. "So that's kind of where he's at. We're doing an internal review now, we've concluded that the agreements are not legally binding, so that is a good thing, and so we do have flexibility. For them now it is really a function of deciding what ultimately he wants to do," the official said. Indicating that climate change is not among the top priorities of the US President, the official said, "I think that in terms of his priorities, he recognises climate is something that needs to be addressed, but he is a little more focused on the American economy, and on the ISIS, and on North Korea and Iran than he is on the Paris agreement." According to the official, Trump will address the issue of climate change, if it is brought up. "But it is not like the number one thing on his mind," the official said.