Billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg has compared the US promoting coal at a climate change event to “like promoting tobacco at a cancer summit”.
The former mayor of New York, who is known for his anti-fossil fuel agenda, made the comments following a US administration backed fossil fuels event at COP23 in Bonn, Germany.
He said: “Promoting coal at a climate summit is like promoting tobacco at a cancer summit.
“It’s also a denial of what’s happening in the US – half of all American coal plants have been retired over the past six years, thanks to market and community forces and leadership by cities and states.
“That trend will continue no matter what happens in Washington, and we are now working to help the rest of the world move beyond coal too. If the administration won’t lead it should at least get out of the way.”
President Donald Trump has vocally supported the struggling US coal industry since taking up office.
The US administration came under fire from clean energy activists for changing the subject of a panel discussion at the German talks on climate change.
The side event, part on ongoing United Nations talks, was originally billed as ‘Action on Spurring Innovation and Deploying Advanced Technologies’.
However it was later changed to ‘The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation’.
The page on the United Nations website has since been taken offline.