APIA, 31 APIA 2017 (SAMOA OBSERVER) — The United States of America’s new Ambassador to Samoa and New Zealand, Scott Brown, has defended the decision by the United States President, Donald Trump, to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.

During his first media interview in Samoa, although the new Ambassador assured about the U.S. support to develop Pacific countries like Samoa, he wasn’t as confident when he was asked about Trump and climate change.  

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“I don’t believe that the President has closed the door on Paris,” said Brown. “He has felt that we’re not getting a fair deal paying billions of dollars.”

According to Brown, the US has “spent billions and billions dollars” and they “have been innovators for the last 50 years on these very important issues.”

“We have all of the above approaches. We have wind, solar, nuclear, hydro, geo thermos … we’re not going to stop doing any of those things just because we did not sign on in an agreement in Paris,” he said.

“We believe there’s an opportunity to continue those company to company innovations as well as country to country innovations.”

In 2015, America had signed the Paris Agreement under former President Barack Obama. But in President Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the deal.

“In order to fulfil my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” Trump said in a statement from the White House Rose Garden.

The move by Trump has been strongly criticised by Pacific Leaders – including Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

Brown, highlighted the importance of the good relationship between the US and China.

But he accused China of destroying the coral reefs.

“I know they are doing things in this region, it’s great and it’s important,” he said. “We have been doing them for over a century in our relationship with Samoa. We’ve been here since World War II obviously doing some wonderful things and we will continue to do that.”

He said China has completely “decimated corals, dumped concrete destroying sea life, destroyed the reefs that are quite frankly exceedingly vital to the survival in this part of the world.”

“Have you and anyone that you know said anything about that? We are getting a lot of grief for not signing an agreement when we’ve been leaders in this issue for 50 years.”

“We just don’t agree with the way that is happening right now. We want to get a better and fair deal.”

“I don’t think that’s wrong. So I would ask you to ask the folks who are dealing with destroying the South China Sea and the coral reefs which we all care so deeply about, like what’s up with that?”…PACNEWS [/restrict]