US to promote reliable energy at COP23 talks

US to promote reliable energy at COP23 talks

A second delegation of the Trump administration has arrived at Bonn, Germany, for the second week of UN sponsored climate talks, where they will promote the wider use of fossil fuels, according to a White House official.

Although there has been a small team from the State Department at the conference since last week for technical negotiations, the second delegation will include senior White House advisers.

There are three key priorities for the administration during the conference. One of these is to promote “universal access to affordable, reliable energy, including highly efficient fossil fuels.”

The official said the other two priorities were to “support for open and competitive energy markets that enhance energy security and innovation and technology, and decoupling emissions growth from economic development.”

A preview of one of the administration’s presentations says: “As the world seeks to reduce emissions while promoting economic prosperity, fossil fuels will continue to play a central role in the energy mix.”

As part of the efforts, White House advisors will lead a side event at the conference to promote “fossil fuels and nuclear power in climate mitigation,” along with energy company representatives.

Some African nations have shown their support for America’s position on the use of fossil fuels.

The Ghanaian energy ministry’s renewable energy director, Wisdom Ahiataku-Togobo, said the climate summit provided an opportunity to discuss coal technology transfer deals with the US, which he described as: “very possible, because the Volta River Authority [Ghana’s largest energy company] is prospecting for these options”. He added: “We are looking at clean coal options and if it comes out as more cost-competitive, why not?”

According to the chair of the Africa group of climate negotiators, Seyni Nafo, an increasing number of African nations are turning to coal as a source of power due to a lack of funds to access renewable energy.

This follows the recent announcement from the US Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, who said the US had initiated discussions with a number of African nations to help provide electricity across the continent, with the use of coal and fossil fuels.

When defending America’s emphasis on fossil fuels, the White House official said other countries were “burying their heads in the sand” by not engaging in the conversation around coal, which continues to see high demand in southeast Asia.

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