RAIN Tough task for US at cli­mate talks

TRUMP TEAM THERE TO ‘PUT AMER­ICA FIRST’ Washington wants to hand­cuff geopo­lit­i­cal ri­vals to their com­mit­ments.

The Citizen (KZN) - - WORLD - Washington

Fac­ing 195 other coun­tries who have cho­sen a dif­fer­ent path, the task of US ne­go­tia­tors at up­com­ing cli­mate talks in Bonn is un­en­vi­able. Don­ald Trump has vowed to exit the Paris Cli­mate ac­cord, just not yet, leav­ing US pol­icy in limbo for the next three years un­til Washington can of­fi­cially leave. So, it falls to Thomas Shan­non – a re­spected ca­reer diplo­mat – to this week lead a del­e­ga­tion into talks aimed at im­ple­ment­ing an agree­ment the US is set to aban­don.

“It is a strange sit­u­a­tion, I don’t think I have seen any­thing like it in my al­most 30 years of fol­low­ing this process,” said Alden Meyer of the Union of Con­cerned Sci­en­tists, a Washington-based non­profit work­ing on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion says it will still turn up, hop­ing to pro­tect Amer­ica’s in­ter­ests and put “Amer­ica first”.

Rather am­bi­tiously, Washington wants to hand­cuff its big­gest geopo­lit­i­cal ri­vals to their com­mit­ments.

A White House of­fi­cial told AFP it wants “to en­sure the rules are trans­par­ent and fair, and ap­ply to coun­tries like China and other eco­nomic com­peti­tors to the United States”.

But Shan­non and his team might find them­selves on shaky ground.

Ben Rhodes, a former aide to president Barack Obama, be­lieves Washington has aban­doned any lever­age it once had.

“The rest of the world has no in­cen­tive to make con­ces­sions to the US since we are now en­tirely iso­lated,” he said. “My ex­pec­ta­tion is the rest of the world will sim­ply con­tinue within the Paris frame­work.” – AFP

ReuterGRAINY Pic­ture: s

A farmer har­vests rice on a field at Khokana in Lal­it­pur, Nepal, yes­ter­day.

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