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US seeks to use UN climate fund to build coal plants globally

The U.S. government intends to use a United Nations fund to advance the construction of coal-fired power plants globally, Bloomberg News reported July 13.

Although President Donald Trump said the U.S. will not make further contributions to the Green Climate Fund, the previous administration's $1 billion donation has allowed the country to keep a seat on the initiative's managing board, the report said, citing a White House official.

According to the official, the U.S. aims to encourage developing countries to build high-efficiency power plants that produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, as well as construct "clean coal" plants that employ carbon capture technology. It also intends to use the fund on natural gas infrastructure abroad.

The advocacy, which is in line with Trump's stated goal of American "energy dominance" by using coal, oil and gas to aid the world's power needs, drew strong opposition from environmental activists.

"This is not supposed to be a coal slush fund or a natural gas slush fund," Bloomberg quoted Karen Orenstein, the deputy director of the economic policy program at Friends of the Earth, as saying. "This is a fund about sustainable development in the age of climate crisis."