Quantcast

Trump Team Plans 'Sideshow on Coal' at UN Climate Talks

Politics
Trump at Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, West Virginia on Aug. 3, 2017. SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty Images

No one really expects the coal-friendly Trump administration to take significant action on climate change, but this is just trolling.

A new exclusive from Reuters claims that the president's team will "set up a side-event promoting fossil fuels" at the global climate summit this December, aka COP 24, in Katowice, Poland.


Citing three sources, the American officials will "highlight the benefits of technologies that more efficiently burn fuels including coal," Reuters reported.

This sounds similar to what the U.S. delegation did last year at the COP 23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany. The so-called "clean fossil fuels" event was widely criticized for promoting "false" global warming solutions such as nuclear power, "clean coal" and carbon capture and storage or CCS. Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, compared it to "promoting tobacco at a cancer summit."

The Katowice panel, scheduled possibly for Dec. 10., will include proponents of coal, natural gas and likely nuclear power, a source involved with planning the event told Reuters. There are currently no plans to include a representative from the renewable energy industry, the source added.

"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," the source told the news service.

The panel will be led by Wells Griffith, Trump's international energy and climate adviser, and include a U.S. Energy Department representative, according to Reuters.

The White House and the State Department, which represents the United States at the COP talks, did not respond to Reuters' request for a comment.

COP 24 will be dedicated to the implementation of the Paris agreement, which has been ratified by a vast majority of the world's governments.

The all-important Katowice summit will be held just months after a dire climate report from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that warned that the world has a very narrow 12-year window to drastically reduce consumption of fossil fuels and ramp up renewable energy sources such as wind and solar to avoid catastrophic global warming.

Trump, however, infamously intends to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord and continues to push polluting, planet-warming fossil fuels. Just last month, the president said the climate will "change back again."

Under the terms of the Paris agreement, the earliest the U.S. can officially exit the pact is the day after the 2020 election.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signs the so-called Affordable Clean Energy rule on June 19, replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan that would have reduced coal-fired plant carbon emissions. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency / Twitter

By Elliott Negin

On July 8, President Trump hosted a White House event to unabashedly tout his truly abysmal environmental record. The following day, coincidentally, marked the one-year anniversary of Andrew Wheeler at the helm of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), first as acting administrator and then as administrator after the Senate confirmed him in late February.

Read More Show Less
A timber sale in the Kaibab National Forest. Dyan Bone / Forest Service / Southwestern Region / Kaibab National Forest

By Tara Lohan

If you're a lover of wilderness, wildlife, the American West and the public lands on which they all depend, then journalist Christopher Ketcham's new book is required — if depressing — reading.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
Somalians fight against hunger and lack of water due to drought as Turkish Ambassador to Somalia, Olgan Bekar (not seen) visits the a camp near the Mogadishu's rural side in Somalia on March 25, 2017. Sadak Mohamed / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

World hunger is on the rise for the third consecutive year after decades of decline, a new United Nations (UN) report says. The climate crisis ranks alongside conflict as the top cause of food shortages that force more than 821 million people worldwide to experience chronic hunger. That number includes more than 150 million children whose growth is stunted due to a lack of food.

Read More Show Less
Eduardo Velev cools off in the spray of a fire hydrant during a heatwave on July 1, 2018 in Philadelphia. Jessica Kourkounis / Getty Images

By Adrienne L. Hollis

Because extreme heat is one of the deadliest weather hazards we currently face, Union of Concerned Scientist's Killer Heat Report for the U.S. is the most important document I have read. It is a veritable wake up call for all of us. It is timely, eye-opening, transparent and factual and it deals with the stark reality of our future if we do not make changes quickly (think yesterday). It is important to ensure that we all understand it. Here are 10 terms that really help drive home the messages in the heat report and help us understand the ramifications of inaction.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Senator Graham returns after playing a round of golf with Trump on Oct. 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Ron Sachs – Pool / Getty Images

Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Senate Republican who has been a close ally of Donald Trump, did not mince words last week on the climate crisis and what he thinks the president needs to do about it.

Read More Show Less
A small Bermuda cedar tree sits atop a rock overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. todaycouldbe / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Marlene Cimons

Kyle Rosenblad was hiking a steep mountain on the island of Maui in the summer of 2015 when he noticed a ruggedly beautiful tree species scattered around the landscape. Curious, and wondering what they were, he took some photographs and showed them to a friend. They were Bermuda cedars, a species native to the island of Bermuda, first planted on Maui in the early 1900s.

Read More Show Less
krisanapong detraphiphat / Moment / Getty Images

By Grace Francese

You may know that many conventional oat cereals contain troubling amounts of the carcinogenic pesticide glyphosate. But another toxic pesticide may be contaminating your kids' breakfast. A new study by the Organic Center shows that almost 60 percent of the non-organic milk sampled contains residues of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide scientists say is unsafe at any concentration.

Read More Show Less