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Tillerson: Trump will not rush US climate policy review
[FAIRBANKS] President Donald Trump will not rush his review of US climate change policy and will do what is best for the United States, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday.
Mr Tillerson is hosting the Arctic Council, where many delegates from some of the countries most affected by global warming were hoping for a renewed US commitment to reduce emissions.
"In the United States, we are currently reviewing several important policies, including how the Trump administration will approach the issue of climate change," Mr Tillerson said.
"We are appreciative that each of you has an important point of view, and you should know that we are taking the time to understand your concerns," he promised.
"We're not going to rush to make a decision. We're going to work to make the right decision for the United States."
The Fairbanks meeting of the eight-nation Arctic Council came shortly after the White House said Mr Trump would not decide on climate change policy until after a trip to Europe later this month.
Hanging in the balance is the future of the 2015 Paris climate change accord, which campaigners, experts and most governments see as the last best hope of slowing global warming.
The joint declaration adopted by the eight-nation Arctic Council simply noted "the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change and its implementation". But it did not recommit the members, including the United States, to meeting the accord's emissions reduction pledges.
At Thursday's meeting, the two-year rotating leadership of the council switches from the United States to Finland, and new chair foreign minister Timo Soini endorsed the Paris deal.
"The Paris climate agreement is the cornerstone for mitigating climate change," Mr Soini said.
His remarks were applauded by delegates and welcomed by leaders from several Arctic indigenous nations, who are represented on the 20-year-old council.