At this year’s climate summit, some Americans declare, ‘We’re still in’ the Paris Agreement | Public Radio International

The official US delegation to the United Nations’ climate talks this year in Bonn, Germany, cuts a confusing profile.

It’s small and nearly invisible, delegates refuse to talk on the record and the team’s office door is often closed.

More than halfway through the two-week meeting, the only official US event has promoted fossil fuels as a solution to climate change, including a big push for so-called clean coal.

Two years ago, the US delegation to the global climate talks helped push through the Paris Agreement, a breakthrough deal that for the first time committed virtually every country in the world to fight climate change. But this year’s delegation is the first under President Donald Trump, who has declared climate change a hoax, promised to pull out of the Paris climate agreement and put fossil fuels back at the center of US energy policy.

But this is not the only delegation — or message — from the US here in Bonn. There’s another group, loosely assembled under the slogan “We’re still in.”

Unlike the Trump administration, this group accepts the overwhelming scientific evidence that climate change is real, and supports the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“We have oyster fishermen in my district, they’re experiencing the effect of climate change through the water getting warmer, bacteria coming in that were never there before,” said Josh Cutler, a state representative from Massachusetts who’s part of the unofficial US contingent at the summit.

Just after arriving at the conference site, Cutler and his colleague Jim Cantwell put on their carefully chosen ties — one sporting images of the US capital, the other with the official seal of the state of Massachusetts. They want to make it clear where they’re from and who they claim to represent.

But they’re a little nervous about how they’ll be received here.

…(read more)_

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