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SOURCE: Reuters

DATE: November 15, 2018

SNIP: The Trump administration plans to set up a side-event promoting fossil fuels at the annual U.N. climate talks next month, repeating a strategy that infuriated global-warming activists during last year’s talks, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

As with the 2017 gathering in Bonn, Germany, the administration plans to highlight the benefits of technologies that more efficiently burn fuels including coal, the sources said.

This year’s talks in Katowice, Poland – located in a mining region that is among the most polluted in Europe – are intended to hammer out a rule book to the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change.

The United States, the world’s top oil and gas producer, is the only country to have announced its intention to formally withdraw from the Paris accord.

The event is expected to be led by Wells Griffith, Trump’s international energy and climate adviser, the sources added. Griffith’s main energy policy experience involves a year at a political job at the Department of Energy and helping to set up a deal last year to supply Ukraine with U.S. coal after the country lost control of mines to Russian-backed separatists.

Last year, the fossil fuels event set up by the White House drew widespread protest and condemnation from climate activists. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote on Twitter that “Promoting coal at a climate summit is like promoting tobacco at a cancer summit.”

Environmentalists should not get excited that any State Department cooperation in Poland signals the Trump administration is eyeing a return to the Paris agreement, one of the sources said.

“It’s making sure U.S. interests are paramount, nothing more, nothing less.”