TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said on Monday the United States was committed to the environment despite President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a 2015 global agreement to fight climate change.
Trump’s decision last week prompted criticism from allies and environmentalists alike but Perry, in Tokyo to discuss energy issues, said the United States would continue to work to cut emissions.
“The United States is not backing down from its role as a leader on cleaning up the climate,” Perry told reporters, adding he hoped that China would take this as “an opportunity to step forward and be real leader”.
China is the world’s biggest emitter of carbon emissions blamed for causing atmospheric temperatures to rise.
Perry spoke after meeting Japanese Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko, who told him that Japan was sorry the United States had decided to pull out of the Paris accord, a ministry official said. Seko was reassured the U.S. remained committed to reducing emissions, the official said.
Perry said the two nations would continue working together in decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, wrecked by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, which he visited on Sunday.
The two countries agreed to share information on Toshiba Corp and Perry said that issues involving the bankruptcy of Toshiba’s U.S. unit Westinghouse Electric Co should not affect their cooperation in the nuclear sector.
(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick and Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Nick Macfie)