German Chancellor Angela Merkel, fresh from taking over the presidency of the Group of 20 nations, plans to use her leverage to challenge Donald Trump’s skepticism about the value of renewable energy by pointing out where it’s a viable business.
The strategy is aimed at reducing the risk that Trump will upend work by Europe and the rest of the G-20 to rein in greenhouse gases and advance the cause of low-pollution fuels, according to a senior German official.
Instead of gathering G-20 energy ministers and risk disagreements on policy, Germany will seek to keep the political gatherings focused on areas where business is earning returns from wind and solar farms, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t yet public.
Trump in 2012 described climate change as a hoax invented by China and more recently singled out wind farms as a costly energy source that kills too many birds. He has pledged to reduce environmental regulations and encourage the use of coal, the most polluting fossil fuel.
Germany and the European Union have pledged to ratchet up restrictions on greenhouse gases, shifting the continent away from the fuels blamed for damaging the climate. Europe wants to protect the Paris Agreement on climate change signed a year ago and ratified in November, setting reductions on emissions in more than 190 countries. Trump pledged during the U.S. election campaign to “cancel” the pact, though he said he’d “keep an open mind” about it after winning the presidency in November.
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