8 Sep 2017

US committed to engaging with Pacific on climate change

10:12 am on 8 September 2017

The United States says it is committed to continuing engagement with the Pacific region on climate change programmes despite the US withdrawing support of the Paris climate change agreement.

US assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Susan Thornton (C)

US assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Susan Thornton (C) Photo: Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Last month, the Trump administration issued its first written notification that the US intends to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

But in the notice to the United Nations the US state department said Washington would remain in the talks process.

The US assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Susan Thornton, leading her country's delegation to the annual Pacific Island Forum Leader's summit in Samoa said the US had not fully left the agreement.

"I don't see a contradiction between maintaining our engagement in the Pacific Islands have expressed concerns about climate change, about the affects of climate change on them which we were very sensitive too which we've had a lot of conversations about today, we've heard a lot of comments but I think the United States is going to remain engaged on the issue of climate change agreement."

Susan Thornton also pointed out that her country had a seat in the board for the Green Global Fund with a $US1 billion financial contribution.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs