UK Officials Lobby Trump, Argue Climate Regulations Create Jobs

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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British officials are lobbying the White House to stick with the Paris climate agreement by claiming climate regulation “creates” jobs.

British officials based in Washington, D.C., have been focusing on job-creation when speaking with Trump administration officials about global warming policy, an unnamed British energy official told Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

The energy official said representatives from the United Kingdom (U.K.) were “focusing on the jobs and growth that tackling pollution can bring to the U.S.,” BNEF reported, and noted that “Trump may be more inclined to listen to the U.K.” since “he has backed the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union.”

Trump is expected to withdraw from the United Nations-brokered Paris agreement, which commits the U.S. to cut greenhouse gas emissions and was brought into force in November, 2016.

The European Union and other Paris agreement signatories oppose a U.S. withdrawal and are actively engaging with the Trump administration to keep it from happening. German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized the economic benefits of green energy to Trump, according to BNEF.

Europeans hope Prime Minister Theresa May can capitalize on her good relationship with Trump to keep him committed to the Paris agreement. May recently met with Trump in D.C. to discuss a trade deal.

It might be a tough sell for Trump on the benefits of regulation when he’s pledged to cut 75 percent of federal regulations.

Trump issued executive actions requiring a temporary freeze in new agency rules and mandating that federal agencies cut two regulations for every new one issued.

In fact, Trump even laid out a strategy to repeal President Obama’s “Climate Action Plan” — the central way Obama planned to meet his emissions pledge under the Paris agreement.

Where overt Trump support may be difficult to procure, British officials hope to gain traction with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who told lawmakers in his confirmation hearings that the U.S. should not withdraw from the Paris agreement.

Tillerson said he believes humans are contributing to global warming, and backed a carbon tax while CEO of ExxonMobil. But it’s unclear how hard Tillerson will push Trump on the issue.

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