President Donald Trump will decide whether the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris climate agreement after the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy at the end of May, his administration says.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters on May 9 that Trump wanted to continue to "meet with his team" to get an economic and environmental perspective before making a decision about whether to remain in the 196-nation agreement to limit carbon emissions in a bid to combat climate change.
Trump had said while campaigning for president that he would try to renegotiate the deal, which was signed by his predecessor, Barack Obama, in 2015.
The White House announcement came as negotiators kicked off 11 days of talks in Germany amid uncertainties about whether Washington will remain committed to the climate agreement.
The May 8-18 gathering in Bonn is meant to start drafting a guide for countries to implement the deal.
There have been suggestions that the Trump administration might stay in the agreement if it is allowed to reduce U.S. commitments made under the Obama administration.
Meanwhile, Obama said he had confidence that the United States "will continue to move in the right direction" under Trump despite the U.S. president's skeptical views about climate change.
Obama said in Milan at a May 9 conference on links between climate change and food security that U.S.-based businesses and the private sector are largely committed to clean energy.
"The good news is, in part because of what we did over the last eight years, the private sector has already made a determination that the future is in clean energy. Investments are moving into clean energy," Obama said.
The former president said that "even if the rules change in Washington, there is not a U.S. automaker that can afford to produce a car that is not fuel-efficient enough to be sold in California," which has some the strictest fuel-efficiency standards in the United States.