United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday said that the US could remain in the Paris climate accord under right conditions. The top official suggested a different tone than that of the Trump administration, which had decided to pull out of the historic agreement.
In June, President Donald Trump had announced that the US was pulling out of the global agreement designed to fight climate change. The Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2015, involves nearly 200 countries with a goal to limit global warming well below two degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels.
Trump has always been critical of the global climate accord, calling global warming a hoax, and had pledged to withdraw from the deal during the presidential elections campaign last year.
Under the pact, the US had committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent below its 2005 level by 2025. The US is the world's second-biggest carbon dioxide emitter behind China.
However, Tillerson seemed to suggest on Sunday that Trump could be willing to work with allies in the Paris agreement if the US could construct a set of terms which were fair and balanced for Americans.
During an appearance on CBS' Face The Nation, Tillerson said that Trump could stay in the Paris climate deal "I think under the right conditions."
"The President said he is open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others on what we all agree is still a challenging issue," he said.
The US National Security Adviser, HR McMaster appeared to strike a similar note to Tillerson's during a recent television appearance where he said that Trump has always been willing to consider changes on the climate pact.
"He left the door open to re-entering at some later time if there can be a better deal for the United States," said McMaster said on ABC's This Week program. "If there's an agreement that benefits the American people, certainly."