Energy industry leaders issued calls for a greater commitment to developing renewable energy sources during the 2019 World Government Summit in Dubai — and some honed in specifically on the U.S. coal industry as an obstacle to those goals.
Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser and United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei criticized coal consumption in the U.S., stressing that it was time to move on to cleaner fuel sources and a more diversified energy mix.
“What we need from the U.S. is lower coal and higher gas and higher contributions from gas and solar,” al-Mazrouei told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble during a panel discussion on the future of energy.
“That is what the world expects from leading industrial country like the United States. And I think there are good signs of that, it’s happening no matter how we look at it.”
Kaeser, CEO of German industrial conglomerate Siemens, had stronger words for the Donald Trump administration’s aversion to climate change legislation and staunch promotion of the coal industry, though refrained from criticizing the president directly.
“The U.S. has more than 100 gigawatts of coal-fired power plants, and they’ve got abundant gas right around corner, whether it’s shale or natural gas — so there is no point in complaining about climate change, whether people think it’s invented by the Chinese or not,” Kaeser said, when asked about political obstacles to cleaner energy goals.