US to join climate talks despite Paris accord exit

President Donald Trump walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on Friday, for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. en route to Bedminster, N.J., for vacation. (AP)
Updated 05 August 2017
0

US to join climate talks despite Paris accord exit

WASHINGTON: The United States announced Friday it would still take part in international climate change negotiations in order to protect its interests, despite its planned withdrawal from the Paris accord on global warming.
Two months after President Donald Trump announced the United States would abandon the 2015 global pact, his administration confirmed it had informed the United Nations of its “intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement” — a process that will take at least until 2020.
But in a statement, the State Department said Washington was still committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and engaging with the international community on combating climate change.
“We will continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and technology breakthroughs, and work with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and deploy renewable and other clean energy sources,” said the statement.
It added: “The United States will continue to participate in international climate change negotiations and meetings... to protect US interests and ensure all future policy options remain open to the administration.
“Such participation will include ongoing negotiations related to guidance for implementing the Paris Agreement.”
Trump sparked widespread international criticism when he announced on June 1 that he had decided to pull the world’s largest economy out of the painstakingly-negotiated accord, in line with his pledge to voters in last year’s election.

While Trump said he was open to a renegotiation of the pact, the suggestion was swiftly shot down by fellow world leaders who said it was non-negotiable.
Speaking on a visit to Paris last month, Trump again raised the prospect of a change in policy by saying “something could happen” regarding US participation in the accord but gave no details.
Friday’s statement reiterated that Trump was “open to re-engaging” in the pact if the US could “identify terms that are more favorable to it, its businesses, its workers, its people, and its taxpayers.”
Andrew Steer, president of the US non-profit World Resources Institute, said the letter implied a level of ambiguity that could indicate a desire to remain engaged.
“The United States could engage constructively in those negotiations on an issue such as transparency,” he said.
“But a climate loner that is intent on withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will not be listened to if it aims to weaken or undermine the accord in any way.”
The United States is the world’s second biggest producer of greenhouse gases after China and its withdrawal was a seen as a body blow to the Paris agreement.
The accord commits signatories to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, which is blamed for melting ice caps and glaciers, rising sea levels and more violent weather events.
They vowed steps to keep the worldwide rise in temperatures “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial times and to “pursue efforts” to hold the increase under 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Despite notifying the UN of its intention to withdraw, the United States will not be able to formally pull out of the accord until 2020 at the earliest.
However, Trump has previously said his country would cease implementation immediately.


Spanish emergency services working to rescue toddler trapped in well

Updated 16 January 2019
0

Spanish emergency services working to rescue toddler trapped in well

  • Among debris pulled out of the well, rescuers found hair, which DNA tests confirmed belonged to the child
  • Emergency services are using cameras to try to locate the child but said access was difficult, with soil partially blocking the well

TOTALAN, Spain: Spanish emergency services were working to rescue a toddler trapped in a well since Sunday.
The two-year-old boy was seen falling into the well as his family walked through a private estate in Totalan, Malaga, in southern Spain, his father Jose told Spanish media.
Among debris pulled out of the well, rescuers found hair, which DNA tests confirmed belonged to the child. No signs of life have been detected.
The town’s residents turned out on Wednesday for a vigil to support the family, many holding homemade placards reading “All of Spain is with you” and “We are sending you our strength.” One man held a sign simply reading “Julen,” the name of the toddler.
Emergency services are using cameras to try to locate the child but said access was difficult, with soil partially blocking the well, which is just 25 cm (10 inches) wide and 100 meters (328 feet) deep.
“We are not only giving voice for all the residents of Totalan but also for the rest of the country because we have all had Julen in our minds since last Sunday,” resident Patricia Calderon told reporters.
Spanish police said members of a Swedish firm which helped locate 33 Chilean miners rescued after 69 days underground more than seven years ago had arrived on Tuesday to help in the rescue operation.
Alternative routes were being studied and officials said they were working to dig a tunnel next to the well.