At climate talks, Trump team plans to promote coal


Smokestacks pollution air quality

Smokestacks pollution air quality

At climate talks scheduled for next month, where nations are expected to set up rules to follow to meet targets set out in the Paris Climate Accord in 2015, the Trump administration is planning a sideshow to promote fossil fuels.

President Trump notoriously announced six months after taking office that he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, leaving the country alone in refusing to abide by international standards to reduce climate change. With about 5 percent of the world's population, the U.S. accounted for almost 15 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions in 2014, though that amount has fallen somewhat in recent years. 

The ability to run on low-carbon power, such as renewable solar and wind power, is one of the main advantages of electric cars. And since transportation and electric power are the two largest sources of global-warming CO2 emissions, converting more travel miles to electricity and cleaning up power plants together are the quickest ways to reduce global-warming emissions. 

The Trump administration's plans came to light in a report by Reuters, which spoke with three insiders familiar with them.

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The move follows the same playbook that the State Department followed at last year's climate where it set up a booth outside the summit in Bonn, Germany, to promote technologies that burn fossil fuels more efficiently. 

This year's summit is scheduled to take place in Katowice, Poland, a coal mining region known as one of the most polluted in Europe, Dec. 2-14.

One source told Reuters the U.S. sideshow was designed to ensure "U.S. interests are paramount."

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“Quite frankly, the U.S. is the only party to the convention that appears to be willing to push a rational discussion on the role of cleaner, more efficient fossil (fuels) and the role of civilian nuclear energy,” one source who is involved with planning the event told Reuters.

The U.S. event is expected to be led by Wells Griffith, an international energy and climate adviser to the administration.

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“The White House seems to have taken the view that it’s important to let technocrats complete the work of the rule book. It’s in the U.S. national interest to be at the table,” said another source.

In announcing his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris accord last year, President Trump questioned the climate science and said the agreement would be harmful to the U.S. economy.

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