Trump team looks for alternative approaches to Paris pact

From BBC - November 14, 2017

President Trump's special adviser on climate says that the US is seeking ways of continuing to be part of international climate discussions.

George David Banks said that US was considering reviving the Major Economies Meeting (MEM).

The Bush-era forum allowed the US to remain in climate discussions even when outside the formal process.

The leaders of France and Germany will address the talks today amid concern over slow progress in cutting carbon.

The group first met in September 2007 and featured delegations from the US, China, the EU, the UK and other countries with high levels of carbon emissions.

At the time the US was outside the formal UN climate negotiating process, having signed but not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, which limited the emissions of richer nations only.

'Echo chamber'

When President Obama came into office, the MEM became the Major Emitters Forum, which helped shape the approach of larger economies in the run up to the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009.

The forum continued, in a much-reduced form until 2015.

Now, President Trump's key climate change adviser thinks it might be a way forward for discussions.

"We are looking into the possibility of having a major economies meeting, it is being discussed," he told reporters on the sidelines of this meeting in the former German capital.

"The only way you are going to have a rational discussion about climate mitigation and policy in general is if you bring in the economic and energy advisers, you are not going to have kind of conversation as long as it dominated by environment ministries."

Mr Banks described the annual UN led talks here as an "echo chamber".

However, the idea of reviving the Bush-era approach to tackling climate change was given short shrift by some observers here.

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