Donald Trump has said the United States could re-enter the Paris climate change agreement – and that he would have taken a “tougher stand” in Brexit negotiations than Theresa May.
The US president said his country could join the international accord if it had a “completely different deal” but called the existing agreement a “terrible deal” and a “disaster” for the US.
The US president met with global condemnation when he announced in June 2017 that the US was pulling out of the climate agreement. The landmark treaty was signed by 195 nations after intense negotiations in 2015, with countries making voluntary pledges to cut carbon emissions in an attempt to restrict an increase in global temperatures to less than 2C this century.
Trump said in the ITV interview that he was a “believer in clean air and clean water” but the Paris agreement would have been a disaster for the US. However, despite initially saying he was “completely out” of the accord, Trump said there could be a way back for the US.
“First of all, it was a terrible deal for the US. If they made a good deal there’s always a chance we’d get back. But it was a terrible deal for the US. It was unfair to the US,” he said.
“I believe in clean air. I believe in crystal-clear, beautiful … I believe in just having good cleanliness in all. Now, with that being said, if somebody said go back into the Paris accord, it would have to be a completely different deal because we had a horrible deal.
“As usual, they took advantage of the US. We were in a terrible deal. Would I go back in? Yeah, I’d go back in. I like, as you know, I like Emmanuel [Macron]. I would love to, but it’s got to be a good deal for the US.”
Asked if he believed in climate change, Trump said: “There is a cooling, and there’s a heating. I mean look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. That wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place. The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they’re setting records. They’re at a record level.”