The Latest: US says Washington to remain engaged on climate
BONN, Germany (AP) — The Latest on the climate talks in Bonn, Germany (all times local):
The top U.S. representative at international climate talks says President Donald Trump’s administration hasn’t changed plans to pull out of the Paris accord on combating global warming, but remains committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In a closing statement Thursday, Judith Garber, an acting assistant secretary of state at the U.S. State Department, told the forum Washington remains open to rejoining the Paris agreement “under terms more favorable to the American people.”
Meantime, she says “the United States will continue to be a leader in clean energy and innovation” and remains “committed to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions” through increased innovation on sustainable energy and energy efficiency.
She didn’t rule out continued reliance on coal, saying “we want to support the cleanest, most efficient power generation regardless of source.”
Pope Francis is denouncing those who deny global warming and is urging negotiators at climate talks in Germany to avoid falling prey to such “perverse attitudes” and instead accelerate efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Francis issued a message Thursday to the Bonn meeting, which is working to implement the 2015 Paris accord aimed at capping global emissions.
In the message, Francis called climate change “one of the most worrisome phenomena that humanity is facing,” and urged negotiators to ignore special interests and political or economic pressures and instead engage in an honest dialogue about the future of the planet.
He denounced that such efforts are often frustrated by those who deny climate change, are indifferent to it, or think it can only be solved by technical solutions.
Britain and Canada are launching a new alliance aimed at encouraging countries to phase out the use of coal as part of efforts to curb climate change.
The Global Alliance to Power Past Coal is being unveiled Thursday at an international climate meeting in Bonn, Germany.
While coal-fuelled power stations are considered one of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide that’s heating up the Earth’s atmosphere, countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and the United States are planning to expand its use in the coming years.
Even Germany and Poland, hosts of climate talks this year and next, are holding onto coal for the foreseeable future.
The new anti-coal alliance is expected to include Finland, France, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand and several U.S. states committed to the Paris climate accord.
A Norwegian investment fund that manages assets worth over $80 billion is pulling investments from ten companies over their involvement in the coal sector.
Storebrand, Norway’s biggest private pension provider, says it divested from companies including German energy company RWE, Poland’s PGE and Eskom Holdings of South Africa.
Its chief executive, Jan Erik Saugestad, said Thursday the decision is meant as a warning to utility companies to “clean up” their energy sources “or lose customers and investors.”
Storebrand said it hopes the much larger Norwegian Sovereign Wealth fund, which holds $1 trillion generated from the country’s sale of oil, will follow its divestment decision.
The move comes as over half a dozen countries attending global climate talks in Bonn, Germany, announce an alliance on phasing out the use of coal.