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  • Protesters dressed as the earth and U.S. President Donald Trump pretend to fight during the Peoples Climate March near the White House in Washington, U.S., April 29, 2017.

    Protesters dressed as the earth and U.S. President Donald Trump pretend to fight during the Peoples Climate March near the White House in Washington, U.S., April 29, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

The Trump Administration, after just a few short months in power, is already proving to be a major threat to the planet.

U.N. climate negotiations concluded in Bonn on Thursday with delegates putting on a brave face despite the threat of a U.S. exodus hanging over their global pact to stem global warming.

Envoys from nearly 200 country signatories to the Paris COP21 Agreement kept a close eye on Washington throughout their 10-day huddle for any signal about President Donald Trump's intentions.

On the campaign trail, Trump had threatened to "cancel" the hard-fought pact in which his predecessor, Barack Obama, played an instrumental role in dragging it over the finish line in 2015.

On the second day of the Bonn talks, the White House announced the postponement of a meeting to discuss the US's future in the deal, compounding the uncertainty. A historically small U.S. delegation at the annual round of technical negotiations was thus also left in the dark.

"I personally have met with the head of the [US] delegation a couple of times and ... he's just very open in repeating: 'Our position is under review,'" U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa said.

But delegates insisted that work continued on outlining a nuts-and-bolts "rule book" for implementing the agreement's goals, despite the ever-present "Sword of Damocles," as one put it.

Many commented that the mood was positive, and that the U.S. delegation participated in the talks, though cautiously. There is the fear, however, that whatever progress is made now could easily be swept off the table. 

"The rest of the world must continue to work towards progress together," said Nazhat Shameem Khan of Fiji, who will preside over the next ministerial-level round of climate talks in November. "We shouldn't give up because one of the community, one of the family, has decided that they will not walk with us."
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