Trump Advisers to Discuss Paris Agreement on Tuesday

18 April, 2017, 03:08 | Author: Joy Garcia
  • Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt left shakes hands with coal miners during a visit to Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company's Harvey Mine in Sycamore Pa. Thursday

As President Donald Trump contemplates whether to make good on his campaign promise to yank the United States out of the Paris climate accord, an unlikely lobbying force is hoping to talk him out of it: oil and coal producers.

As for India - which is on course to greatly increase its energy demand in coming years as electrification reaches more and more of the country's vast population - it, too, is moving to address climate change.

Pruitt announced the change this week.

To them, it's best to retain the Paris agreement as a diplomatic tool and to keep a seat at the table on global climate policy.

The administration will decide what to do before late next month, when world leaders gather for the Group of Seven summit in Italy, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.

Last summer, the group called the Paris deal "the latest in a series of costly policy choices the USA government has made because of its participation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)", and it urged the United States government to withdraw from the UNFCCC altogether.

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Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt said Thursday during an appearance on Fox and Friendsthat the United States should exit the Paris climate agreement because the accord only serves the interests of Europe, China and India.

Trump has already moved to dismantle a raft of Obama-era climate policies that would help the US satisfy the commitment it made with more than 190 other nations to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

The Obama administration joined the accords a year ago without Senate approval, committing the U.S.to cut greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025. But there is one table that US diplomats could find themselves absent from this fall-the negotiating table at the next global climate meeting in Bonn in May. Cloud Peak pitches the Paris agreement as a platform for the U.S.to advocate using carbon capture and other high-efficiency, low-emissions technology to generate electricity from coal.

It is far from clear how the Trump administration could actually "exit" the Paris agreement, assuming that the Pruitt line wins and the administration determines that it wants to.

"If Trump allows this deal to go forward, he will unwittingly fulfill Hillary Clinton's arrogant and dastardly promise to put every coal miner in America out of a job", Heritage fellow Stephen Moore and research associate Timothy Doescher wrote in a recent op-ed. Given their apparent support for this agreement, it remains to be seen whether they will push back against Pruitt's remarks, potentially setting the White House up for yet another fight between centrist and conservative elements of the administration.

On Monday, liquified natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy sent a letter to George David Banks, who handles worldwide energy issues at the NEC, to recommend remaining in the Paris agreement so "the United States can leverage competitive advantages in natural gas and energy technology". That approach has won the endorsement of several major coal companies. It was the first global agreement under which the almost 200 countries who negotiated it pledged to flight climate change and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

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