Wednesday, 16 Jan 2019

US supporters of the Paris agreement prepare for climate talks

KATOWICE, Poland – Hundreds of US states, cities, corporations and churches waved the American flag during the climate talks that took place Friday to show that many people in the United States remain determined to fight against global warming despite the position of their president.

The opening of the United States Climate Action Center alongside pavilions from Britain, Poland and New Zealand contrasts with the unobtrusive presence of the US government's official delegation to the two-week talks in Poland.

Envoys of US President Donald Trump's administration, who announced the withdrawal of the United States from the historic 2015 climate change agreement in Paris, are stranded in a box away from the main lobby. A public event is currently scheduled for Monday to promote US technological innovations.

The Climate Action Center is supported by a group called We Are Still In that wants to maintain the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement, which is to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit ).

California billionaire Tom Steyer, considered a possible candidate for the Democratic presidency for 2020, said the United States should once again become the world leader in the fight against climate change.

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

"The way we are going to win over the climate is not to talk exclusively about climate, but to form a coalition with people of all stripes for justice," he said.

Negotiators from nearly 200 countries have little time to settle their differences before ministers arrive at the UK talks in Katowice next week for a last round of frenzied diplomacy.

The environmental group Climate Action Network on Friday awarded the price of the Daylight Fossil Day to Germany for abandoning its target for 2020 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and not to have supported 39, more ambitious goals at the European Union level for 2030.

He also noted that Germany was doing little to reduce emissions from its transport sector and had not yet set a specific date to end its dependence on coal.

German officials refused to comment on the price.

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