The European Union's top energy official says the United States has signaled that it may be willing to re-engage in the Paris climate pact, despite President Donald Trump's announcement in June that the U.S. would withdraw in order to renegotiate the deal.
Miguel Arias Canete, European commissioner for climate action and energy, said Saturday that the shift came during a meeting in Montreal of more than 30 ministers, led by Canada, China and the European Union.
The Montreal meeting took place in preparation for the annual U.N. General Assembly, the main events of which begin Tuesday.
"The U.S. has stated that they will not renegotiate the Paris accord, but they will try to review the terms on which they could be engaged under this agreement," Canete said after the meeting.
Stance 'has not changed'
However, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted a different message shortly after Canete's statement was released. "Our position on the Paris agreement has not changed.," she said. "@POTUS has been clear, US withdrawing unless we get pro-America terms."
Trump drew international criticism when he declared the U.S. would pull out of the Paris Agreement and seek a renegotiation.
The Paris Agreement is a U.N.-negotiated deal signed in 2015 by every nation except Syria and Nicaragua. A withdrawal by the United States is seen as a possible catalyst for withdrawals by other nations.
The agreement seeks a global response to curb carbon dioxide emissions.
The United States produces the world's second-highest level of greenhouse gas emissions, next to China.