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.

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