U.S coal companies have argued leaving the Paris Agreement will leave the U.S. in the cold since future energy mix will be determined by other countries and companies.
Many big American coal companies have advised the Trump administration to not go ahead with the earlier statement of pulling out the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. They have reasoned that if America stands by its earlier commitments it would best protect their global interests.
Companies, including Peabody Energy Corp and Cloud Peak Energy Inc have told the Trump Administration that remaining in the global accord will provide U.S. negotiators the chance to advocate for coal in the future of the global energy mix.
“The future is foreign markets, so the last thing you want to do if you are a coal company is to give up a U.S. seat in the international climate discussions and let the Europeans control the agenda,” said a U.S. official on the condition of anonymity since he was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.
“They can’t afford for the most powerful advocate for fossil fuels to be away from the table,” said the official.
Cloud Peak and Peabody officials confirmed the discussions.
According to Cloud Peak being part of the Paris Climate Agreement is important since it can then try to encourage “a more balanced, reasonable and appropriate path forward” on fossil fuel technologies, said Richard Reavey, Cloud Peak’s vice president of government affairs.
The U.S. coal industry is interest in ensuring that the Paris Climate Agreement provides for a role for low-emission coal-fired power plants and financially supports carbon capture and storage technologies, said officials.
In addition, they also want the pact to protect multilateral funding for international coal projects through bodies including the World Bank.
In 2015, in the historic Paris accord, almost 200 countries have agreed to try and limit global warming by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from burning fossil fuels.
The United States is also a signatory to the deal. The U.S. has committed to reduce its emissions by between 26% and 28% so as to reach emission levels below 2005 by 2025.