Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is instructing U.S. embassies around the world to be “coy” in response to questions about whether the country will re-engage with the Paris agreement, Reuters revealed this week, in an exclusive report on a diplomatic cable issued last Friday.
The cable confirms that “there are no plans to seek to renegotiate or amend the text of the Paris agreement,” but states that Donald Trump “is sincere in his commitment to look for a path to re-engage that takes into account his concerns for U.S. economic growth and energy security.”
It “also said diplomats should make clear the United States wants to help other countries use fossil fuels,” Reuters reports. And the cable “makes clear that the United States intends to attend global climate summits during the prolonged process of withdrawing from the Paris deal to protect U.S. interests,” beginning with COP23 in Bonn November 6-17.
“The State Department is working with the White House to further develop our approach to international climate diplomacy, and we look forward to working with our allies and partners to seek common ground and develop a way forward on this important issue,” according to the unclassified document, which Reuters published in full.
“Domestically, we remain committed to lowering U.S. greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and technology breakthroughs,” it stated. “Internationally, the United States will work with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and deploy renewable and other clean energy sources, given the importance of energy access and security in many nationally-determined contributions.”
Reuters notes that the emphasis on fossil fuels represents a break from Obama-era policy that opposed international finance for most coal projects.