Top US diplomat in China quits over Trump climate policy

Paramilitary police officers guard the entrance to the U.S. embassy in Beijing
Paramilitary police officers guard the entrance to the U.S. embassy in Beijing
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07 June, 2017

JUNE 6 ― The Malaysian Climate Change Group* (MCCG), a coalition of six environmental non-governmental organisations with a focus on climate change, is appalled by the decision of the President of the United States of America Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The source says Rank called a town hall meeting of embassy employees Monday afternoon.

The decision, which Mr Trump said would protect the USA economy, was met with much rancour worldwide.

As the head of the embassy until Branstad arrives, it was Rank's responsibility to deliver a formal notification of the USA intention to withdraw from the climate pact. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, MD dispute the science behind the Paris agreement and support the President's decision. Meanwhile, the State Department itself has confirmed that Rank plans to retire from the foreign service, but did not speak on the reason for his decision.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, President Donald Trump's pick as the next USA ambassador to Beijing, is expected to take up the post later this month.

The full impact of Trump's decision still depended on whether other countries would follow the US lead and decide to withdraw from the pact, he said.

The official said Chacon had tendered his resignation when Trump was inaugurated on January 20, along with all presidential appointees, who serve at the pleasure of the president and secretary of state.

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News of Rank's resignation was broken by John Pomfret, an editor at the SupChina news site.

It was not immediately clear whether he would be offered another post at the department.

Jonathan Fritz, the embassy's economics councilor, would serve as chargé in his place, Richey-Allen said.

Trump announced his decision Thursday to leave the Paris climate treaty, which was negotiated in 2015, took effect last November and seeks to prevent the earth's temperature from rising more than 3.6 degrees Farenheit - an increase that scientists warn could trigger devastating impacts. She declined to comment on when a permanent replacement would be announced.

Rank has worked in the U.S. foreign service for 27 years.

Trump said: "even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100".


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