In a new article Wednesday, The New York Times reports National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn will have a breakfast meeting with foreign climate and energy ministers to discuss “climate change” and President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accords.
The breakfast in New York next Monday will be held against a backdrop of devastation in the United States and the Caribbean from two monster hurricanes that scientists say may have been made more ferocious by warming trends. It also comes as the Trump administration is navigating an uncertain position in the international climate change negotiations, having declared it will withdraw from the global Paris agreement while also telling nations it remains open to continued discussions.
Invitations were sent to officials from the world’s largest economies. The event is billed as “an opportunity for key ministers with responsibility for these issues to engage in an informal exchange of views and discuss how we can move forward most productively,” according to the invitation. The note says the group will be kept small and include ministerial-level officials only.
“It is too early to say what may come out of the meeting, but it shows that the U.S. is keen to engage with key countries,” said one diplomat who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak for his government. “If the U.S. expresses its clear intent on addressing climate change issues at the meeting, that would be a positive sign.”
The president announced in June the U.S. would walk away from the Paris climate agreement. But just last month, his State Department sent a letter to the United Nations suggesting the U.S. might stay in, if “the United States identifies suitable terms for re-engagement.”
It would seem next week’s meeting is meant for both sides to explore the latter option.