The Trump Administration is expected to follow through with a rumored fossil fuel side-event at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, better known as COP24, being held in Katowice, Poland, in an effort to reportedly tout the benefits of coal, natural gas, and nuclear power.
It was revealed in November that the Trump Administration was planning what is effectively a coal sideshow to be held at COP24 in Katowice. News agency Reuters broke the news earlier in the month that “three people familiar with the matter” had spoken about the planned event — including a person involve din planning the event.
Since then, rumors have bubbled along, before being confirmed by various reporting. Specifically, Rhys Gerholdt is the Senior Communications Manager for the Global Climate Program at World Resources Institute, received the following information regarding the event:
10 Dec 2018
|United States of America
Ms. Hannah Lyons
+1 202 6471555
Midwest Research Institute/National Renewable Energy Laboratory (MRI/NREL)
Mr. Ron Benioff
+1 303 3847504
|U.S. Innovative Technologies Spur Economic Dynamism
Promoting innovative approaches
Rhys Gerholdt also wrote to Hannah Lyons in an effort to find out who would be speaking at the event, and after being passed around like a hot potato, eventually received this response on background, attributable to a US Department of State spokesperson:
“The United States side event at COP24 will feature US government and industry speakers and will focus on the remarkable progress we have made through innovation for cleaner technologies. These job-creating innovations have contributed to reducing US emissions while also growing our economy and providing reliable and affordable access to energy. Fossil fuels will continue to be used across the globe for decades to come. The side event will showcase ways to use fossil fuels as cleanly and efficiently as possible, as well as the use of emission-free nuclear energy.”
This has been followed up by reporting from news agency Axios, quoted “Several people familiar with planning the event” as suggesting the session will likely include speakers such as Wells Griffith, Trump’s adviser on global energy and climate issues, Steve Winberg, assistant secretary for fossil energy at the Energy Department, Rich Powell, executive director of the ClearPath Foundation, a nonprofit working on cleaner energy technologies from a conservative perspective, and possibly someone from the natural gas industry. Axios also confirmed both Winberg and Powell’s involvement.
“Trump’s COP24 coal convention is a disgraceful clown show,” said 350.org Executive Director May Boeve. “As the world transitions away from coal, oil, and gas, fossil fuel CEOs and their political puppets are trying to keep us hooked. 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.”