Protesters Jeer as Trump Team Promotes Coal at U.N. Climate Talks

  • While many energy experts agree that technologies like carbon capture for coal plants and nuclear power can play a critical role in reducing emissions, the fact that Trump administration officials have played down concern over global warming has triggered deep suspicion about American intentions.
  • “Nuclear and carbon capture are critical to reducing CO emissions, but going to Bonn to promote the technologies without admitting climate change is a crisis is a logical absurdity,” said Josh Freed, director of the clean energy program at the centrist think tank Third Way.
  • Still, Mr. Steer acknowledged, countries throughout Asia and Africa are continuing to build coal plants in their quest to provide energy access for millions living without electricity.
  • Some developing countries described a more balanced view, however, conceding a need for fossil fuels in the short term while ultimately calling for stronger global action on climate change and a shift toward cleaner forms of energy, including renewables like wind and solar energy.
  • Officials from Bangladesh, which still gets most of its electricity from natural gas and has plans to build 25 new coal-fired plants by 2022, said they would welcome the use of technology to improve the efficiency of their coal plants as a steppingstone toward renewable energy.

The Trump administration’s debut at the United Nations climate conference in Bonn, Germany, was met with heckling, noisy protest and harsh questions.
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