The French Embassy in Washington is downplaying reports that President Trump has been barred from attending a Paris climate change conference in December because of his decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate deal.
Reuters reported Tuesday that the office of French President Emmanuel Macron had “for the time being” not invited Trump to the international conference.
"The United States have a bit of a special status for that summit,” an official representing Macron said, explaining that only countries that have committed to implementing the 2015 Paris climate change agreement have been invited.
But the French Embassy quickly countered the reports, with spokeswoman Emmanuelle Lachaussée telling the Washington Examiner that "President Trump has not been invited yet, but all the invitations have not been sent yet, so the U.S. are not the only one in this position."
She said she was positive that the U.S. "will receive an invitation after COP23 to be represented at the [Dec. 12] summit at the level of its choice."
The United Nations COP23 climate change conference began on Monday in Bonn, Germany, and lasts through Nov. 17.
The reports of Trump not being invited to the follow-up conference in Paris came just after reports from Bonn saying Syria would join the Paris climate change pact, making the U.S. the only country to remain outside the U.N. climate agreement.
Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Rick Perry attended the ministerial meeting of the International Energy Agency in Paris on Tuesday.
Perry tweeted that he "enjoyed meeting" Nicolas Hulot, the country's minister for ecological and inclusive transition. He also is a well-known journalist and environmental activist.
Perry included a video of the two meeting in a courtyard. Perry's wife, Anita, delivered remarks at a Women in Energy conference being held on the sidelines of the IEA meeting.
Enjoyed meeting w/ Nicolas Hulot, Minister for Ecological & Inclusive Transition while in Paris for @IEA Ministerial Mtg #americanenergy pic.twitter.com/JWS9VlmBJh— Rick Perry (@SecretaryPerry) November 7, 2017
Fatih Birol, the executive director of the IEA, posted a picture of himself and Perry talking.
IEA's cutting-edge work and analysis will be significantly extended by the new Clean Energy Transitions Programme https://t.co/PMBhrEEjkR pic.twitter.com/cXlw9TUWND— Fatih Birol (@IEABirol) November 7, 2017
Birol linked the photo to an announcement by a number of countries to promote clean energy development, which did not include the United States.
The IEA's Clean Energy Transitions Program is a multi-year plan backed by 13 countries "to support clean energy transitions around the world" that was announced Tuesday.
The program includes contributions from Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Australia, Finland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands joined with the contributing countries in starting the program.