New UN climate chief: 'Action on warming unstoppable'
President Trump said he’d withdraw from the UN climate deal and stop funding the UN’s clean energy programme. But former Mexican diplomat Patricia Espinosa told BBC News that the delay in any firm announcement suggests the issue is still unresolved. She travels to US this weekend to try and meet the new US secretary of state.
Ms Espinosa said it would be more damaging for the US to leave the on-going climate talks process altogether than to stop funding the clean energy programme.
The US pays approximately $4m (£3.2m) towards this programme every year - and often an extra $2m in voluntary funding.
But she said the rest of the world would carry on tackling climate change without the US, if necessary.
She said China’s stated willingness to lead the world in curbing emissions might cause American diplomats to ponder the implications of allowing China a role of global moral leadership.
“We are of course worried about rumours that the possibility of the US pulling out of the Paris agreement and the convention on climate change,” she said.
“It would be very bad if there were a change of position in the US. That’s why I’m looking forwards to engaging with the US as a partner.”
She did not explain how the US would be able to remain within the Paris framework whilst scrapping action on its own emissions strategy that helps underpin that process.