US at climate talks may be like unhappy dinner guest


By: - Climate DepotNovember 9, 2017 8:56 AM

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP SCIENCE WRITER

November 8, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — How’s this for awkward? The United States has a delegation at international climate talks in Bonn that will be telling other nations what they should do on a treaty that the president wants no part of.

President Donald Trump has promised to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 Paris climate pact where nations set their own goals to reduce the emissions of heat-trapping gases, but because of legal technicalities America can’t get out until November of 2020.

“It’s like having a guest at a dinner party who complains about the food but stays anyway,” said Nigel Purvis, who worked climate issues in the State Department for Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — and dealt with a similar situation.

In 2001 Purvis was a climate negotiator for the U.S. State Department when the new president, George W. Bush, had pulled out of a landmark global warming agreement the previous administration had championed.

The U.S. position is not just awkward, it’s potentially bad for the environment, scientists say.