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Amy Harder Nov 14
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Top State Official bows out of climate talks

Bonn, Germany — A top State Department official who was supposed to be America's lead climate negotiator here at a conference isn't coming. The department said the official, Tom Shannon, isn't coming because of a family emergency.

Judith Garber, a lower level State Department official, is coming instead.

Why it matters: Regardless of the reasons, the optics look bad. The Trump administration has said it's going to withdraw America from the Paris deal and doesn't acknowledge climate change is a problem in need of addressing. This shuffle makes it appear like the administration — the politically appointed people versus the career staff — is divided over how to position itself at the conference.