U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Mr Tillerson was until recently the chief executive of oil giant ExxonMobil. Photo: Getty

By Ian Johnston
2 March 2017

(The Independent) – The US Secretary of State, former oil industry mogul Rex Tillerson, has not responded to a request from the United Nations’ most senior climate change official for a face-to-face meeting amid concern about the Trump administration’s stance on global warming.

Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told a conference about the issue in Chicago that progress towards a low-carbon economy was now “unstoppable” with many businesses already making the transition.

However she admitted the UNFCCC was worried about “rumours” that the US could withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Ms Espinosa also smiled about the prospect of a Mexican woman trying to talk about global warming with the United States’ new leadership – given Donald Trump’s talk about building a wall between his and her country to prevent migration, dismissal of climate science as a Chinese hoax and remarks about being able to sexually assault women because he was a celebrity that helped spark the worldwide Women’s March protests. […]

“We are of course worried about rumours that the possibility of the US pulling out of the Paris Agreement and the convention on climate change,” she said. 

“It would be very bad if there were a change of position in the US. That’s why I’m looking forwards to engaging with the US as a partner.”

But she suggested the momentum behind efforts to reduce fossil fuel emissions was such that they would carry on regardless of the views of political leaders. [more]

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson snubs UN request for climate change meeting



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