The decision would be a significant foreign policy break with nearly every other nation on earth and a major reversal of the Obama administration‘s efforts on climate change.
Trump met Tuesday with a key voice advocating for withdrawal, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. He meets Wednesday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who supported remaining in the deal.
The precise mechanism for withdrawal hasn’t yet been determined, but Trump has made clear he plans to fulfill his campaign promises to withdraw.
A formal announcement is expected at some point this week. The officials cautioned the plans could change until Trump makes his decision public.
The administration’s decision comes after months of internal debate and speculation about what Trump, who campaigned on leaving the deal, would do once he took office.
The White House was initially slated to make a final decision on the climate accord earlier this month, but delayed the decision until the G7 meeting in Sicily. At the summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters the climate debate was “controversial” and that the leaders of the other G7 nations — France, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and Italy — all urged Trump to remain a part of the 2015 agreement.
Aides to Trump said he was listening with an open mind to the other leaders’ arguments about Paris, but had yet to decide whether to withdraw the US from the pact.
The meetings inside the West Wing had been contentious, sources told CNN, as aides expressed their deep grievances over the climate agreement that President Barack Obama helped broker with every country except Syria and Nicaragua.
The divisions inside the White House on the deal had been fierce.
Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist and the former head of Breitbart, had pressed Trump to stick with his campaign promise and leave the deal.
But Ivanka Trump, the President’s top aide and daughter, pressed aides to look at the full picture when considering what withdrawal could mean. Trump’s son-in-law and top aide, Jared Kushner, was said to be neutral on the deal.
Tillerson and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry had both advised against leaving the deal, sources said.