Speaking to a room full of reporters alongside Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump was reminded of Norway's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement - which he famously called a "bad deal for America" and led him to withdraw the United States from the Agreement back in June of 2017 - and asked "What could persuade you to remain?"
Prime Minister Erna Solberg noted that many Norwegians drive US -made Tesla electric cars and said her country saw "tremendous economic and business opportunities" as nations around the world fight climate change.
For his part, Trump seemed to take steps back from his statement withdrawing the US from the Paris agreement last summer and hinted that the USA might actually rejoin the agreement. He added that the EPA and its "commissioners"-the EPA is headed by an administrator who has backed withdrawal from the global agreement owing to its impact on jobs-"are very very powerful in the sense that they want to have clean water, clean air-but we also want businesses that can compete". The US president emphasized that he is not going to let the Paris agreement to deny the US competitive edge. "According to some estimates, we would have had to close businesses in order to qualify by 2025".
Norway is part of the accord. "We have strict regulations to meet our Paris targets, which means we have very strong policies for environment-friendly and climate-friendly technologies", she said. "Im not going to let that happen", Trump asserted. "You never miss up on a good opportunity with good environmental standards", she said. The oil and gas sector constitutes about 22% of Norwegian gross domestic product.
In the end, should we believe Donald Trump actually believes the United States "could conceivably go back" to the Paris Climate Agreement? No.
However the remarks came on the same day that Mr Trump dismissed the importance of renewable energy and said he was a "massive" supporter of oil. "In fact, most of your energy-your electricity-is produced by hydro", he told Solberg.