The Department of Energy is closing its Office of International Climate and Technology and will eliminate its 11 staff positions, according to a New York Times report Thursday.
The small office first opened in 2010 and has worked with other countries in order to develop clean energy technology and reduce greenhouse gases.
A Department of Energy spokesperson said they were “looking for ways to consolidate the many duplicate programs that currently exist within DOE,” according to The Hill. Other offices in the department with international teams will take on additional responsibilities relinquished by the office.
“The Department is looking for ways to eliminate this kind of unnecessary duplication — just like any responsible American business would,” said spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes.
Environmentalists have railed against the decision and the Trump administration.
“Willfully ignoring the climate crisis is recklessly and unnecessarily dangerous for families and communities across the country, and it’s clear that Trump will stop at nothing to completely isolate the United States and irreparably damage our reputation with the rest of the world,” John Coequyt, global climate policy director at the Sierra Club, said in The Hill.
The office’s closure comes amid the Department of Energy’s restructuring under the leadership of Secretary Rick Perry and President Donald Trump. Earlier this month, Trump put in motion plans to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate agreement, the multinational pact to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide.
“Ignorance is not diplomacy, and if Trump were acting like a leader, he would know that,” added Coequyt.