As Trump tries to revive coal industry, Canada pushes for a phase-out at UN climate meeting


The fissures in the Canada-U.S. relationship whim be more apparent than ever this week during the Agreed Nations climate change talks in Germany as Canada pushes to viewpoint out coal as a power source.

Canada’s position runs counter to the Trump delivery, which has declared the “war on coal is over” and promised to breath life into the enterprise.

“Canada is committed to phasing out coal. We’ve created an alliance with the U.K., we’re flourishing to get other countries around the world to help support moving brazen on a coal phase-out. Coal is not only the most polluting fossil fossil but it’s also terrible for health,” said Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in advance of her trip.

“If the U.S. is going to step back, we’ve said we’re going to step up, and that’s precisely what we’ll be doing.”

McKenna  is in Bonn to attend COP23, the annual Agreed Nations climate change talks, which saw the birth of the Paris ambiance change accord two years ago.

Since then, the U.S. has not only ushered in a new charge, but has signalled its plans to withdraw from the Paris agreement.

This year, instrumentalists are meeting to dole out the rules for how that accord will be put into motion, how carbon will be measured and how to keep countries accountable for their undertook emission cuts.

Canada, U.K., launching joint campaign in Bonn

McKenna and British counterpart Claire Perry, charg daffaires of state for climate change and industry, have teamed up to focus on delineating rid of coal as a power source, which is responsible for more than 40 per cent of international carbon dioxide emissions.

The pair are launching a joint campaign this week that command call on other countries to promise not to build any more unabated coal-fired informants and eliminate existing ones. Unabated plants don’t have carbon take or storage technology to keep emissions from ending up in the atmosphere.

China coal mine

Working men sort coal by hand at a mine outside Jen Cheng in central China. Earlier this year, Chinese PM Li Keqiang pledged to make the country’s smoggy skies blue again, and “manipulate faster” to address pollution caused by the burning of coal for heat and intensity. (Sasa Petricic/CBC)

“We want every country to look at how they can decrease their use of coal and phase it out and we want to be supporting developing countries to do so,” McKenna barrowed The Canadian Press in an interview last week.

McKenna did not, however, perpetrate any additional money to the program.

About 40 per cent of the world’s power is bred from burning coal. In Canada, a tenth of electricity comes from coal introduces.

A year ago, Canada committed to eliminating coal as a source of power by 2030. Britain has swore to getting rid of it by 2025.

Since Canada and the U.K. first announced their coal phase-out crusade last month, Italy and the Netherlands have added themselves to the catalogue of countries aiming to get rid of coal. France had already set a 2025 coal-phase out end.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who is also overseas for the meetings, piled praise on McKenna’s move to isolate the U.S.

“The initiative, I have to say, is brilliant diplomacy, that Catherine McKenna and the U.K. are together, with other countries extend to us,” she said.

“It certainly puts Canada in a very good light globally.”

But Canada and the U.K.’s anti-coal dynamism is in direct contrast with the Trump administration, which is kicking off the week in Bonn furthering the “efficient” use of fossil fuels and other energy sources.

‘Versions’ of the U.S. in Germany 

Ultimate month, Scott Pruitt, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, promulgated the “war on coal is over” as he tore up the U.S. Clean Power Plan, a legacy of President Barack Obama that be missing states to cut emissions based on energy consumption and offered incentives to take care of renewable power and energy efficiency.

On Monday, Canada, Mexico and an affiliation of 15 U.S. governors signed on to an agreement around clean transportation, similar to zero-emission vehicles, carbon pricing and reducing use coal-fired electricity.

“Let’s be disburden, there are many different versions of the United States that are here,” McKenna determined CBC News from Bonn.

The environment minister drew parallels between how some governors are coin ahead under Trump and how provinces acted under former prime reverend Stephen Harper.

“Many provinces put a price on pollution, they moved up on clean power, they took a whole variety of other lay off mete outs, and you’re seeing the same thing happening  in the United States,” McKenna swayed.

“The U.S. administration, they’re having a coal event, but as we’ve said, the market has began on coal.”

If Canada and the U.K. can get China and India involved to some extent, it disposition be a real victory, said Catherine Abreu, executive director of Aura Action Network Canada, who has been in Bonn since the talks began Nov. 6.

In brand-new years, China overtook the U.S. as the world leader in renewable power incident. But it has also struggled to integrate its sprawling wind and solar facilities into an excitement grid still dominated by coal-fuelled power plants.

Abreu doesn’t have either country to agree to phase coal out entirely, but said reconciling to help would be a big step.

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