US back­ers of Paris ac­cord set up camp at cli­mate talks

El Dorado News-Times - - Faith & Values -

KA­TOW­ICE, Poland (AP) — Hun­dreds of U.S. states, cities, busi­nesses and churches planted the Amer­i­can flag at the U.N. cli­mate talks Fri­day in an ef­fort to show that many peo­ple in the United States re­main com­mit­ted to curb­ing global warm­ing de­spite the stance of their pres­i­dent.

The open­ing of the U.S. Cli­mate Ac­tion Cen­ter along­side pav­il­ions from Bri­tain, Poland and New Zealand con­trasts with the low-key pres­ence of the of­fi­cial U.S. gov­ern­ment del­e­ga­tion at the two weeks of talks in Poland.

En­voys from the ad­min­is­tra­tion of U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who has an­nounced a U.S. with­drawal from the land­mark 2015 Paris cli­mate change ac­cord, are holed up in a cu­bi­cle away from the main con­course. They cur­rently have one pub­lic event planned Mon­day pro­mot­ing U.S. tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions.

The Cli­mate Ac­tion Cen­ter is backed by a group called We Are Still In that wants to main­tain the Paris cli­mate deal's aim of keep­ing global warm­ing well be­low 2 de­grees Cel­sius (3.6 de­grees Fahren­heit).

Cal­i­for­nia bil­lion­aire Tom Steyer, who is con­sid­ered a pos­si­ble 2020 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date , said the United States has to re­turn to lead­ing the world in tack­ling cli­mate change.

He urged en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivists not to lose sight of the wider con­cerns of Amer­i­can vot­ers in the com­ing years if they want po­lit­i­cal change.

"The way that we're go­ing to win on cli­mate is not by talk­ing ex­clu­sively about cli­mate but by be­ing in coali­tion with peo­ple across the board on jus­tice," he said.

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