The US delegation at this week's United Nations climate talks in Bonn will be "much smaller" than in years previous, according to the state department.
Supporters of the deal have argued that countries can legally curb their emission reduction commitments under the treaty and are urging the United States to remain a signatory to the deal.
"The world needs America's leadership to combat the dangers posed by climate change", said Kaine".
President Donald Trump is expected to make a decision soon on whether to exit the Paris Agreement.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that a decision would come before the G7 summit at the end of this month, and Trump teased an announcement at a Pennsylvania rally last weekend.
The Trump administration flatly rejected the UK's request for an assessment of how the USA government's latest policy shifts would affect its greenhouse gas emissions: "We do not have updated information". "The Agreement is already spurring the development of clean energy and energy efficiency jobs across the USA, and will position the United States, and small businesses nationwide, to be leaders in the rapidly growing clean energy economy". White House counsel Don McGahn reportedly believes otherwise.
Some are floating the idea that the USA should be allowed to change or even reduce its commitments to cut carbon as long as it stays in the deal. The Sierra Club argued in a leaked memo that it would be "extremely difficult" to challenge a move to weaken US commitments in court.
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A commitment to reducing global emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) such as methane and black carbon could slow global warming while boosting public health and agricultural yields, aligning the Paris Climate Agreement with global sustainable development goals, a new analysis by an worldwide research panel shows. Trump has targeted that regulation, along with a slew of others. They als contend the U.S. is likely to continue to deliver deep emissions reductions over the next decade, regardless of Trump's efforts to boost the fossil fuel industry, as action at the state level and emerging clean technologies take effect.
"We are focused on ensuring that decisions are not taken at these meetings that would prejudice our future policy, undermine the competitiveness of USA businesses, or hamper our broader objective of advancing USA economic growth and prosperity", said the official, asked about the negotiators' brief.
The 2015 Paris Agreement seeks to drastically cut global carbon dioxide emissions and subsequently lower global temperature rises to "well below" 2 degrees centigrade. It remains to be seen whether President Trump himself will support the American business community, or whether he will stick a thumb in their collective eye. The pact helped solidify a global consensus about addressing climate change that environmental groups worry may be undermined if the world's largest economy withdraws. Moreover, it would create an awkward dynamic at high-level worldwide gatherings like the G7 and G20 summits.
The role of USA negotiators in Bonn is set to be little more than a watchdog for what the White House has defined as U.S. interests, which are now unaligned to the global effort to stave off risky climate change.
In Bonn, where diplomats from around the globe will gather next week for their biannual climate change meeting, the uncertainty will distract from discussions about how to implement the agreement.
"The question of whether this creates a hard backdrop for the negotiations is clearly a 'yes, ' " said Paula Caballero, who heads the climate program at the Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI).