Energy & Environment

US, EU pledge to work together on climate amid reported dissension on coal

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The U.S. and EU said Tuesday that they would work to combat climate change amid reports that in separate discussions, the U.S. helped to block a further agreement on coal. 

A statement released by the White House described as a U.S.-EU Summit Statement, expressed a commitment to “rapidly scaling up technologies and policies that further accelerate the transition away from unabated coal capacity,” referring to coal burning when emissions are not caught using carbon capture technology. 

The statement also said they’d work to transition to an “an overwhelmingly decarbonized power system in the 2030s.”

However, Politico reported over the weekend that the U.S. and Japan blocked a potential deal to set a definitive end-date for coal use, amid a meeting of the G-7. 

An EU official told the news outlet that the “overwhelming majority” of G-7, whose meetings are attended by the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.K., as well as leaders who form the EU, supported phasing out the fossil fuel in the 2030s. 

President Biden has said he’d like to reach a carbon-free power sector by 2035, but has not announced an unabated coal phase out date for other sectors. 

He’s contending with an extremely slim majority in the Senate, where coal-state Democrat Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is effectively a swing vote. 

Meanwhile, G-7 countries previously pledged last month to restrict international coal funding. 

The new statement released on Tuesday also says that the U.S. and EU will continue to “scale up efforts” to meet a $100 billion annual climate finance goal by 2025. 

On Biden first foreign trip as president, climate is playing a key role, as his administration seeks to reestablish U.S. leadership on the issue after former President Trump shunned it.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden Joe Manchin

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