Tillerson: Trump isn’t ‘walking away’ from climate change issue

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday said the president is still committed to addressing climate change even though he withdrew from the Paris climate pact last week.

“He’s not walking away from it — he’s simply walking away from what he felt was an agreement that did not serve the American people well,” Tillerson said, according to his remarks released by the State Department.

The secretary of state spoke in Sydney alongside Secretary of Defense James Mattis in their first joint appearance in a foreign country.

Tillerson said President Donald Trump is interested in “perhaps a new construct of an agreement” and believes climate change “is still important and that he wants to stay engaged on the issue.”

Trump on Thursday vowed to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, saying it puts the U.S. at a “very big economic disadvantage.” He also said he’s open to renegotiating the agreement, though France, Germany, Italy and the United Nations stated after Trump withdrew that the pact isn’t renegotiable.

During the press conference in Sydney, Tillerson also said America’s fight against terrorism won’t be affected by the decision by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to withdraw diplomatic staff from Qatar because of that country’s ties to Iran and for supporting terrorism.

“I think what we’re witnessing is a growing list of irritants in the region that have been there for some time, and obviously they have now bubbled up to level that countries decided they needed to take action in an effort to have those differences addressed,” Tillerson said. “We certainly would encourage the parties to sit down together and address these differences.”

Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/05/trump-climate-change-paris-rex-tillerson-reacts-239130

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