New Argentinian President Javier Milei backtracked on his previous statement that he would withdraw the country from the Paris climate agreement.

Milei, who was sworn into office on Sunday, previously said he would rescind Argentina’s participation in the agreement and called climate change a hoax.

He also previously said the climate crisis was a “socialist lie” and referred to the Paris climate agreement as “cultural Marxism.”

However, the country’s top climate diplomat told Reuters the new government “sent her as head of the Argentinian delegation at the United Nations COP28 climate talks underway in Dubai.”

Reuters reports:

She arrived on Sunday just as Milei was being inaugurated in Buenos Aires.

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“This is why I came to this COP, to reassure our party stakeholders and people following the process that Argentina will stay committed to the Paris Agreement. We will honour all our environmental agreements,” Levaggi said.

“Milei is a liberal, he’s a libertarian, and he believes in market forces. And the market demands to include measures to address climate change.”

Argentina will also keep its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050, she said.

Levaggi, who has been serving as Argentina’s ambassador to Senegal, said she was called to Buenos Aires about a week ago and asked by the new foreign minister to take the job.

The diplomat said she was “positively surprised” to be asked to take up the role.

Milei will eliminate the Environment Ministry as part of a promised effort to shrink the government, but the environment will be “distributed among different ministries,” Levaggi said. This is part of Milei’s wider public sector reforms and the environment will not have a lower priority in his administration, Levaggi said.

According to The Telegraph, Milei was inaugurated in Buenos Aires to chants of “Libertad!” and “Presidente!”

“Amongst the world leaders to attend Mr Milei’s inauguration were Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Chile’s Gabriel Boric,” the outlet wrote.

Milei embraced Zelensky at the inauguration.

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Per The Telegraph:

Mr Milei – a right-wing economist, political outsider and former TV pundit – won November’s general election with the highest percentage of votes since the country’s return to democracy in 1983, against the backdrop of a crippling financial crisis.

Mr Milei campaigned with radical policies, including replacing the country’s peso with the US dollar, shutting the central bank, and halving the number of ministries. He also proposed holding a referendum on the legality of abortion, easing regulation on guns and called the climate crisis a “socialist lie”.

“All these politicians who blame the human race for climate change are fake and are only looking to raise money to finance socialist bums who write fourth-rate newspapers,” Mr Milei previously said.

Such comments fuelled doubts around the future of the country’s environmental agenda, particularly when he rejected the Paris Agreement – which Argentina signed in 2015 – for being “cultural Marxism”.

Yet, since his victory three weeks ago, the self-described “anarcho-capitalist” has begun backpedalling on some of his more contentious policies.

He has moderated his tone, filled his first Cabinet with mainstream conservatives rather than ideological libertarian allies, and put more radical ideas like dollarisation onto the back burner.

He has also backtracked on plans to scrap the nation’s health ministry.

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