Amer­i­cans show sup­port for Paris ac­cord at cli­mate talks

US back­ers set up camp at UN cli­mate talks in Poland

The Oklahoman - - WORLD - BY FRANK JORDANS

KA­TOW­ICE, POLAND — 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.

Ne­go­tia­tors from al­most 200 coun­tries have lit­tle time left to bridge their dif­fer­ences be­fore min­is­ters ar­rive at the U.N. talks in Ka­tow­ice next week for a fi­nal fran­tic round of diplo­macy.

The en­vi­ron­men­tal group Cli­mate Ac­tion Net­work on Fri­day awarded its tongue-in-cheek Fos­sil of the Day award to Ger­many for aban­don­ing its 2020 tar­get on re­duc­ing green­house gas emis­sions and for fail­ing to sup­port more am­bi­tious Euro­pean Union-wide tar­gets for 2030.

It also noted that Ger­many is do­ing lit­tle to curb emis­sions in its trans­port sec­tor and has yet to set a fixed date for end­ing its re­liance on coal.

Ger­man of­fi­cials de­clined to com­ment on the award.


Ash­ley Allen, Cli­mate and Land Se­nior Man­ager at Mars In­cor­po­rated, sec­ond from right, speaks Fri­day at the launch of the U.S. Cli­mate Ac­tion Cen­ter in Ka­tow­ice, Poland. Oth­ers on the podium are, from left, Wil­liam Som­platsky-Jar­man, Pa­trick Hamil­ton and Marc An­drus.

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