US officials battling global climate change despite Trump rhetoric: report

US officials battling global climate change despite Trump rhetoric: report
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Administration officials are working to combat global climate change despite President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE's skeptical rhetoric on the issue, according to a Reuters report

U.S. and foreign officials told the outlet that government scientists, State Department envoys and federal agencies are still taking active roles in international efforts to learn more about and combat climate change. 

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While Trump announced last year he would pull the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, the U.S. still helped write a rulebook on implementing it over the past year, Reuters noted. 

The U.S. has also increased funding for overseas clean energy projects and has contributed to international research on the effects of global warming, it added. 

The White House said in a statement to The Hill the administration supports debate and analysis on the issue. 

“The climate has changed and is always changing. The Trump Administration supports rigorous scientific analysis and debate. To address climate change as well as other risks, the United States will continue to promote access to the affordable and reliable energy needed to grow economically, and to support technology, innovation and the development of modern and efficient infrastructure that will reduce emissions and enable us to address future risks, including climate related risks," deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah said. 

“We really don’t detect any change with the Americans,” Arctic Council chair Aleksi Härkönen told Reuters.

A State Department spokesman also told the news service that its employees are still working on a global warming policy. 

“The State Department is working with the White House and the interagency to further develop our approach to international climate change diplomacy,” Ambrose Sayles said in a statement. 

“In the meantime, we will continue to participate ... to ensure a level playing field that benefits and protects U.S. interests, and to keep all options open for the President,” he continued. 

Trump's allies, meanwhile, expressed frustration that the president's rhetoric has not turned into more action. 

“I am concerned that much of our climate policy remains on autopilot,” Trump's former energy adviser, Myron Ebell, told Reuters. 

Trump has pushed for increased use of fossil fuels in the U.S. and has rolled back various Obama-era energy and environment policies since taking office. 

A December report from The New York Times and ProPublica revealed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has lost more than 700 employees during the Trump administration, including scientists, specialists and department directors.

EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOn The Money: New financial disclosures provide glimpse of Trump's wealth | Walmart, Macy's say tariffs will mean price hikes | Consumer agency says Education Department blocking student loan oversight Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog finds Pruitt spent 4K on 'excessive' travel | Agency defends Pruitt expenses | Lawmakers push EPA to recover money | Inslee proposes spending T for green jobs Lawmakers take EPA head to task for refusing to demand Pruitt repay travel expenses MORE also reportedly oversaw a series of efforts to remove references and information regarding climate change from the agency's website.

—Updated at 12:37 p.m.