China's President Xi says to uphold global climate deal

Pauline Gross
May 11, 2017

A move to exit the global emissions-cutting deal has been expected ever since Trump was elected president.

"The president has been meeting with his team for quite a while on this matter, and he will not be making an announcement regarding that agreement until after he returns from the G-7", he said, referring to the Group of Seven meeting scheduled for May 26-27 in Italy.

The White House pushed off a meeting to hash out its position on the Paris climate agreement Tuesday for a second time.

In a conference call organized by the liberal Center for American Progress, Brian Deese, a climate adviser to former President Barack Obama, said that "the race is on for which countries are going to be the 21st century clean energy super-powers".

Top White House advisers are expected to discuss whether the United States should withdraw from the landmark global climate deal struck in Paris under the Obama administration. The official said the delay came amid scheduling conflicts.

The Paris agreement states "a party may at any time adjust its existing nationally determined contribution with a view to enhancing its level of ambition".

Instead of keeping their advice to President Donald Trump closely held, the President's advisers have openly discussed their views of the agreement on television and at events. But Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has said the Paris pact "is a bad deal for America" that will cost jobs. On the other side, Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, is reported to favor remaining in the deal.

"There's no question that if the United States withdraws it is going to create difficulties.in the negotiations", Paula Caballero of the World Resources Institute think-tank said as climate envoys met for their first session since Trump took office.

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USA officials are also asking China to urge more China-friendly ASEAN members, such as Laos and Cambodia, to do the same. Tillerson told reporters at the start of the Washington meeting that he and his counterparts would discuss North Korea .

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Scavino promised to share video of the conversation, which he said came via a November 9 phone call at 2:30 a.m. from longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin to Trump's then-campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway.

According to White House officials, Mr. Trump's eldest daughter Ivanka was set to meet with Cabinet officials and department heads to discuss whether to abandon the treaty altogether.

Uncertainty over America's future has already loomed large during the 11-day meeting to work out the nuts and bolts of implementing the worldwide deal, which Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, was instrumental in bringing about.

But those views have been tempered by Trump's daughter, Ivanka, who has insisted aides provide her father with the full picture of what a withdrawal could mean for U.S., according to the people familiar with the talks. Trump himself once called climate change a hoax perpetrated by China.

"President Trump emphasized his desire to work closely with President-elect Macron in confronting shared challenges, and noted the long and robust history of cooperation between the United States and its oldest ally, France", the statement said.

So staying in the agreement would require revising that pledge downward, which would risk drawing global scorn (the Paris agreement exhorts participants to increase, not lessen, their ambition). "President Trump said that he was pondering on this issue, and the two men agreed to meet again in two weeks in Brussels", Araud said.

"It's important that big countries that are big emitters like the U.S. and China... lead the way", Obama told a conference on Tuesday in Milan, at one of his first public appearances since leaving office.

At a summit in Milan, Italy, focused on climate change and food availability, Obama defended the Paris Agreement and said that the USA must show leadership and not "sit on the sidelines".

Other reports by GizPress

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