Donald Trump says he’s “studying” the implications of the Paris climate deal, pending a decision on whether to pull the US out of the UN pact once he assumes the presidency.
In an interview with Fox News broadcast on Sunday, Trump said he worried the agreement between 195 countries in 2015 could hurt the US economy.
“Paris I’m studying, I don’t want that agreement to put us at a competitive disadvantage with other countries,” he said.
“You know there are different times and different time limits on that agreement I don’t want that to give China or other countries signing agreements an advantage over us.”
So far 116 countries have ratified the UN deal, which commits governments to reduce global warming to well below 2C above pre industrial levels and eliminate emissions from fossil fuels after 2050.
China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Canada and the EU are among countries and organisations to have formally signed up along with the US.
— Climate Home (@ClimateHome) December 8, 2016
Asked for his views on climate change science Trump said he was “open minded” but added “nobody really knows, it’s not something that is so hard and fast.”
The Dakota and Keystone pipelines – subject to intense controversy in the US – could be green-lighted once he arrives at the White House, Trump added.
“When I get to office if it’s not solved I’ll get it solved quickly… it will start one way or the other – also the Keystone pipeline.”
Last week the billionaire chose a climate sceptic to be his environment chief, while Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is tipped to be nominated as the US top diplomat in the coming days.
“He’s a world class player – he’s in charge of one of the largest companies in world.. an oil company double the size of the next company, a company that has been unbelievably managed – and to me a great advantage is he knows the players.”