WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration plans to set up a side-event promoting fossil fuels at the annual U.N. climate talks next month, repeating a strategy that infuriated global-warming activists during last year’s talks, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.
As with the 2017 gathering in Bonn, Germany, the administration plans to highlight the benefits of technologies that more efficiently burn fuels including coal, the sources said.
This year’s talks in Katowice, Poland – located in a mining region that is among the most polluted in Europe – are intended to hammer out a rule book to the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, which set a sweeping goal of ending the fossil-fuel era this century by spurring a trillion-dollar transition to cleaner energy sources such as solar and wind power.
Even as the Trump administration aims to promote energy strategies that could detract from those international goals, it also plans to let State Department officials continue negotiating the climate accord – a recognition that the next U.S. president may drop the nation’s opposition to the pact.
“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 and see an outcome that emphasizes transparency, holds countries accountable,” said one of the sources, who is familiar with State Department plans.