Delegates from 23 countries continue this week to hammer out how to put the Paris agreement in place in Bonn, Germany – except for the United States. The U.S. delegation has a very different agenda focused on fossil fuels.
The Economic Times reported on Monday:
The United States hopes to promote wider use of fossil fuels at a global meeting on climate change next week, a White House official said, reflecting the gaping divide between Washington and the rest of the world on the issue of global warming.
One of the three main priorities for the administration will be promotion of “universal access to affordable, reliable energy, including highly efficient fossil fuels,” the official told reporters in a briefing.
The other two priorities include raising “support for open and competitive energy markets that enhance energy security and innovation and technology, and decoupling emissions growth from economic development,” the official said.
In fact, the U.S. delegation held a “side-event” on Monday to highlight “fossil fuels and nuclear power in climate mitigation.”
The side event included George David Banks, a special assistant to Trump on energy and environment; Francis Brooke, a policy adviser to Vice President Mike Pence; and representatives of coal producer Peabody Energy Corp (BTU.N), nuclear engineering company NuScale Power, and liquefied natural gas company Tellurian Inc (TELL.O), according to the Economic Times.
“Dozens” of U.S. federal, state, and local officials held a counter-event to highlight how they are taking “climate action” across the country, according to the Economic Times.
In June, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would pull out of the Paris climate change accord, citing the harm that would be done to the American economy and workforce. The Obama administration had signed onto the agreement without the consent of Congress in 2015.
“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord,” Trump said at the time.
The unnamed White House official told the Economic Times that the other participants at the U.N.-sponsored Conference of Parties 23 were “burying their heads in the sand” if they did not engage in a conversation about coal, an energy source used around the world.
While the other countries are vowing to shut down all fossil fuel usage, the U.S. is using its platform in Bonn to argue cleaner fossil fuel as the right path forward.
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is proposing an American-led alliance that would encourage developing countries to invest in more efficient coal plants, the Globe and Mail reported.