Trump Administration Plans COP24 Coal Sideshow

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The Trump Administration is apparently planning to set up a side event (read: sideshow) promoting the use of fossil fuels at the upcoming COP24 UN climate talks to be held in Katowice, Poland.

News agency Reuters broke the news earlier this month, revealing that “three people familiar with the matter” had told them that the Trump Administration was planning to set up a side-event alongside the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), informally known as COP24, which will run from December 2 to 14 in Katowice, Poland.

The reports only heighten the impact that the United States is likely to have on this year’s UN climate talks. Already this week we have seen other reports in advance of the 13th meeting of Group of Twenty to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which begins today, that a draft communique would essentially kowtow to United States’ climate policy. Specifically, according to Climate Home News, which reported on Monday that it had seen a draft version of the document — which is thus still subject to change — there was no backing of the Paris Climate Agreement and no mention of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C which warned that “Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

The COP24 talks are expected to focus on hammering out a rulebook to the Paris Climate Agreement signed formed in 2015. Specifically, according to the United Nations, this year’s climate talks are “particularly crucial because 2018 is the deadline that the signatories of the Paris Agreement agreed upon in order to adopt a work programme for the implementation of the Paris commitments.”

With the United States exerting such gravitational pull on the talks, it will be interesting to see to what extent the results of COP24 represent the desires of the US, or the desires of literally everyone else.

As regards the potential coal side-event the Trump Administration is promising, reactions have been right in line with expectations.

“Trump’s COP24 coal convention is a disgraceful clown show,” said May Boeve, Executive Director of “As the world transitions away from coal, oil, and gas, fossil fuel CEOs and their political puppets are trying to keep us hooked. Meanwhile, communities here at home — from California to Puerto Rico and more — are attempting to rebuild from devastating and worsening fires and storms.

“Last week’s National Climate Assessment doubled down on IPCC warnings: the climate crisis is already here, and the costs are being paid for in our lives and livelihoods. Instead of propping up sunset industry, we should be investing in a Green New Deal that prioritizes frontline and coal-communities, nurtures a livable planet, and creates millions of good jobs in the process.”

However, according to at least one of the sources who spoke to Reuters, the Trump Administration’s desire to push ahead with their coal sideshow is an effort in rational thinking.

“Quite frankly, the US is the only party to the convention that appears to be willing to push a rational discussion on the role of cleaner, more efficient fossil (fuels) and the role of civilian nuclear energy.” It’s worth noting, this source is also one of those involved planning for the event, which is apparently likely to be held on December 10.

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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

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