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STATEMENT: WRI Responds to Senate Confirmation of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

Today the U.S. Senate confirmed Rex Tillerson to be U.S. Secretary of State. Previously Tillerson was the chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly owned oil and gas company.

Following is a statement from Paula Caballero, Global Director, Climate Program, World Resources Institute:

“As Secretary of State, Mr Tillerson must shift from looking after business interests to looking after the needs of all Americans. This will require continuing America’s strong leadership to addressing climate change, one of the greatest economic and national security threats of our time.

“Tillerson said that the U.S. should keep a ‘seat at the table’ on climate change. Indeed, the world expects the United States to stay in and deliver on the Paris Agreement. Tillerson will have already seen the overwhelming support from countries and business around the world for the Paris Agreement. Whether at the G7 or G20, Arctic Council, or United Nations, climate change has become a core issue for international relations. The United States needs to be a serious and productive player on climate change in order to maintain trust and positive relations, which will help the country on a host of other priorities.

“Strong leadership on climate change will create jobs and economic opportunities at home, and it will bring greater stability around the globe.

“Secretary Tillerson has shown he can lead a major enterprise on the global stage. Now he can use these skills to address climate change, advance access to clean energy, and address other critical humanitarian needs that will improve economic development and security at home and around the world.”

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