Feb 28, 2017

UN lacks "clear signals" from Trump on Paris climate deal

The Trump administration is keeping the United Nations in the dark, at least so far, when it comes to the future of U.S. participation in the global climate accord struck in Paris in 2015.

We have not heard any clear signals. Of course the U.S. is a party to the agreement, so we continue to see the U.S. as the very important partner that it is to us. — Patricia Espinosa, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to reporters in Washington on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The absence of clear information to the U.N. is another sign that Trump isn't ready to follow through on his campaign pledge to end U.S. participation in the deal—at least for now.

The Bonn, Germany-based Espinosa said shortly before her current trip to the U.S. that she was seeking a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson here, but said Tuesday that it wasn't happening. Still, she carefully declined to cast it as a snub from the Trump administration.

"They were … just looking at the possibility, but it was not confirmed," Espinosa told reporters at Georgetown University ahead of Tuesday afternoon lecture. "There are so many commitments that high-level officials have." She said the dates of her visit were timed around her lecture.

What's Next? Espinosa said onstage that the uncertainty around U.S. plans has not prompted other nations to pull back on their commitments under the carbon emissions pact that's aimed at preventing the most dangerous levels of global warming.

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