President Tommy Remengesau, Jr clarified that climate mitigation and adaptation were brought up during a meeting with United States President Donald Trump, a vocal climate change skeptic, but from a different angle.
Remengesau was responding to the media’s inquiry on Wednesday who pointed out that the joint statement issued by the Freely Associated State leaders and Trump during their meeting did not mention anything about climate change, an issue that is very important for the FAS and other Pacific island nations.
Remengesau said that knowing Trump’s position about climate change, they resorted to adopt a strategy that can accomplished things rather than try to debate with the US president about climate change and come back empty-handed.
“I know the scientific community and some of our climate change partners would have want us to stand up and say climate change is real but sometimes, you need to learn to do things in a way that can accomplished things,” Remengesau said, explaining that the meeting was a ‘very respectful’ one.
Remengesau said that among the topics discussed that are related to addressing the impacts of climate change are the issues of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, and the improvement of Palau’s ports and airfields in the islands of Peleliu and Angaur.
Palau’s president also said that there had been discussions with the US’ Department of Interior regarding funding for Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) such as the construction or repair of roads and dock in Angaur that was destroyed by natural disasters.
“Both sides knew…that we did not want this to be a confrontational meeting, we want this to be a productive meeting,” Remegesau said, adding that they instead focused on what they had a lot in common than those that they do not agree with. (By Rhealyn C. Pojas)