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Trump administration lawyers to discuss Paris climate deal

Washington: Trump administration lawyers plan to meet on Monday to discuss the legal implications of remaining in the Paris climate change agreement, officials told Politico news.

Critics of the 2015 accord have quietly been mounting a behind-the-scenes effort to convince President Donald Trump that sticking with the deal would pose legal hurdles.

The meeting is expected to include lawyers from the White House, National Security Council, State Department and Justice Department, the officials said, though the list of attendees and timing could still change.

On April 27, a meeting of Trump administration officials about the Paris agreement focused largely on legal issues.

Critics of the deal, led by chief strategist Steve Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, have pushed several legal arguments, including that the Paris deal restricts countries from weakening their domestic emissions-reduction targets and that any decision to remain could be used in court to counter the administration’s bid to undo former President Barack Obama’s climate regulations for power plants, reports Politico news.

The Monday meeting was organised after Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a proponent of remaining in Paris, called for a deeper assessment, the officials said.

Backers of the accord were surprised when the White House Counsel’s Office signalled during the April 27 meeting that it agreed with Pruitt’s legal concerns.

Current and former State Department officials strongly disagree with Pruitt’s contentions about the legal issues.

Trump, during a rally on Saturday marking his 100th day in office, said that he would make a final decision in the next two weeks.

–IANS