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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The world’s dual attempts at addressing climate change and increasing access to energy are set to clash at an annual United Nations conference.

Driving the news: A seminal report released Oct. 8 by a UN scientific body ahead of the December confab underscored the urgency of climate change and what drastic efforts should be taken to address it.

The intrigue: The conference is being held in Katowice, Poland — a small city known for its history mining coal in a country still heavily dependent upon the resource.

  • Coal emits the most carbon dioxide compared to other fossil fuels.
  • It has historically been the cheapest and most prevalent electricity option in many countries.
  • Coal remains the dominant power source in many of the world’s fastest-growing economies like China and India, which prioritize cheap energy access ahead of environmental concerns.

The details: Negotiators from hundreds of countries, including the U.S., will hash out additional details on the big 2015 climate accord agreed to in Paris.

  • Trump administration officials are expected to attend this year’s conference, like they did last year.
  • But there's unlikely to be any movement toward reconsidering President Trump’s vow, articulated at a Rose Garden speech in June 2017, to withdraw America from the deal.

Sign up for the daily Axios energy newsletter Generate by Ben Geman, and my weekly Harder Line column here.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 mins ago - Economy & Business

Charted: GOP surged as Biden slumped

Expand chart
Reproduced from Gallup. (Independents were asked their party leaning.) Chart: Axios Visuals

Gallup polling found a huge shift in party preference over the course of 2021, from a 9-point Democratic advantage in the first quarter to a 5-point Republican edge in the fourth quarter.

Why it matters: It's the biggest swing in one calendar year for Gallup's 30 years of tracking.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
23 mins ago - Science

A new NASA astronaut corps for the next era in space

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA's next crewed missions to the Moon will need a larger, differently-trained and multi-skilled astronaut corps to deliver on the agency's ambitions.

Why it matters: NASA has plans to fly astronauts to the surface of the Moon in 2025 and ultimately establish a long-term presence there. That goal requires a robust corps with new, specialized training in what it takes to live and work on the Moon — and NASA needs to start planning now.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.