Obama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection of climate change

Kristopher Drake
November 17, 2017

The UK has urged Donald Trump to stop supporting coal as it launched an alliance of 20 countries committed to phasing out its use in power stations.

The U.S. states of Washington and OR, as well as five Canadian provinces have also signed up.

The alliance hopes to grow to more than 50 members by next year, in a clear challenge to countries like the US and Indonesia that have announced plans to expand coal use in the coming years.

Stern, who was Barack Obama's special envoy for climate change, said he was "annoyed, frustrated" by the new president's rejection of a deal that took the world's nations more than two decades to negotiate. "Coal is literally choking our cities, with close to a million people dying every year from coal pollution". The market has moved, the world has moved.

"Air pollution from coal has awful consequences for health", she adds.

The United States is the world's biggest historical greenhouse gas polluter and second only to China for current-day emissions. At the same time, the US administration has promoted the use of fossil fuels like coal for USA energy needs.

The event triggered a peaceful protest by anti-coal demonstrators and jarred with many ministers who are working on a rule book for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to move the world economy off fossil fuels.

The Global Alliance to Power Past Coal was unveiled at the COP23 United Nations climate change conference in Bonn, Germany.

McKenna says the alliance will see governments helping other governments make the positive change.

Denying climate change or being indifferent to its effects are "perverse attitudes" that block research and dialogue aimed at protecting the future of the planet, Pope Francis said on Thursday.

Francis called climate change "one of the worst phenomena that our humanity is witnessing".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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