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Trump Nominates Climate Sceptic As New US Secretary Of State

Megan Darby, Climate Home News

Donald Trump has chosen Mike Pompeo, ally of the Koch brothers and critic of the Paris climate agreement, to replace Rex Tillerson as foreign affairs chief

Mike Pompeo (left) and Rex Tillerson (Photos: Gage Skidmore and Deposit Photos)

President Donald Trump nominated Mike Pompeo as US secretary of state on Tuesday, to replace Rex Tillerson.

The move was trailed last November. Subject to senate confirmation, it puts a critic of the Paris climate deal and strong ally of the resource billionaire Koch brothers in the top foreign affairs job.

Pompeo described the Paris Agreement in 2015 as a “costly burden”. He is the all-time biggest beneficiary of campaign funding from Koch Industries, which opposes climate action, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

While he has not been active in climate or energy matters in his current role as CIA director, Pompeo’s earlier comments align with Trump’s plan to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement and cut funding for international climate cooperation.

Tillerson, in contrast, expressed his support for the deal when chief executive of Exxon Mobil and urged Trump to keep “a seat at the table” of international talks. He is said to have clashed with Trump over several matters of foreign policy.

He follows George David Banks and Gary Cohn, who had also sought to moderate Trump’s position on climate change, out of the administration.

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