Trump says US could ‘conceivably’ return to Paris climate deal

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the United States could "conceivably" return to the Paris climate accord, although he stopped short of signalling any move in that direction.

"Frankly, it is an agreement that I have no problem with, but I had a problem with the agreement that they signed, because, as usual, they made a bad deal," he told a news conference.

"So we can conceivably go back in," added Mr Trump, who announced his intention to pull out of the 2015 accord on curbing global warming emissions last June.

His comments will renew questions about whether he intends to withdraw or wants easier US emissions targets. A full US pullout could jeopardise global efforts to limit average warming to under 2 deg C.

Standing alongside Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in the White House, Mr Trump presented himself as a champion of environmentalism.

"I feel strongly about the environment," he said.

"We want to have clean water, clean air, but we also want businesses that can compete."

"One of the great assets of Norway is a thing called water," Mr Trump said. "They have tremendous hydro power. In fact, most of (their) energy or electricity is produced by hydro. I wish we would do some of that."

He has at times seemed torn between advisers, such as his daughter Ivanka, who advocate for policies that mitigate the effects of climate change, and aides who believe international accords hold America back. - AFP