The White House began the first of a series of meetings Thursday that will lead to the reshaping of the Trump administration's climate change goals and policy, a White House representative confirmed to the Washington Examiner.
"This was a forward-looking meeting on strategy and how to prioritize the administration's climate goals and objectives moving forward," the spokesman said.
The meeting was held between the White House and officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Department, State Department and the Department of Interior.
"This particular meeting was more big picture strategy," the spokesman said. The purpose was to bring together "a whole group of stakeholders ... that are involved in climate issues and looking ahead to what policy initiatives we may put in place."
This was the "first meeting of many that will be happening over the course of the year," the person added.
Politico first reported on the meeting on Thursday.
The meeting follows an intense amount of criticism leveled against the president from environmental groups, states, celebrities, former Obama administration officials, industry moguls and others criticizing Trump's decision to exit the Paris climate change deal.
Criticism has intensified over the administration's refusal to discuss the effects of global warming amid a string of record-breaking hurricanes that have battered the Gulf Coast and Florida.
Many scientists blame the burning of fossil fuels for increasing the temperature of the Earth with potentially catastrophic effects such as more severe weather. Although scientists do not blame global warming for creating the storms, they do say that a hotter planet results in stronger storms with record amounts of rainfall and more devastating winds.