The US will tackle threats to the climate through technological advances as fossil fuels can always remain a priority for the U.S. government and business, the assistant secretary for fossil energy said on Tuesday.
The world ought to look to the United States’ ability to cut down on its emissions, the Department of Energy’s Steven Winberg said at an oil conference in South Africa one day after the Trump administration formally moved to exit the Paris Agreement.
“We will solve any climate issue with technology development, one thing you see back in U.S. history is we’ve got consistently resolved challenges that were put before us,” Winberg told Reuters at the oil conference that drew energy ministers from across Africa and also as the U.S. and other international energy firms.
The USA, the highest historic greenhouse gas emitter and a leading oil and gas producer, is the sole party to the accord to formally look for an exit.
A small group of protestors from the global climate change awareness group Extinction Rebellion wearing hazard suits rushed the lobby of the Cape Town event, smearing oil on the ground with mops whilst singing, “ Our planet earth is burning down!”
Asked regarding the view of U.S. allies and partners on the U.S. withdrawal, Winberg said: “My message would be, take a glance at what we’re doing within the US on reducing our emissions and developing twenty-first-century technology.”
He said U.S. CO2 emissions had fallen by 14 July between 2005 and 2017 and cited the development of liquid natural gas and its potential to be regenerated into cleaner hydrogen, capturing and sequestering CO2 and advances in coal-fired boilers.