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US stance clouds UN's climate negotiators

(2017-05-10)UN climate negotiators in Bonn were left frustrated on Tuesday as the White House postponed a meeting to determine whether the US will stay in the 196-nation Paris Agreement to curb planet-harming fossil fuel.

As uncertainty mounted over the hard-fought pact’s future under US President Donald Trump, China’s leader Xi Jinping came to its defence.

China and France “should protect the achievements of global governance, including the Paris Agreement,” the foreign ministry in Beijing quoted Xi as telling his newly-elected counterpart Emmanuel Macron in a phone call.

Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, who alongside Xi was instrumental in the agreement’s birth in 2015, also entered the fray on Tuesday.

Big emitters like the US and China, he said, must “lead the way” in the fight against climate change.

Negotiators in Bonn had their eyes firmly on a White House meeting called to discuss the topic on Tuesday, but a senior administration official confirmed: “It’s been postponed.” No new date was given.

The Bonn meeting, a technical discussion held every year to prepare for an annual round of political-level negotiations, have been overshadowed by fears that a US withdrawal would throw the entire process into disarray.

Source:AFP
Date:May 11,2017