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Photo: Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images

Very few, if any, Democratic politicians are expected to attend a big United Nations climate conference next week in Poland.

Why it matters: Attending this annual event is often considered a show of commitment to an issue that typically doesn’t get a lot of attention. Many factors go into whether politicians go, and this year’s relative low attendance appears to be due to several. One is the fact Congress is in session and it’s nearly a month later than last year’s event, according to congressional aides.

The big picture: Climate change has received rare, front-burner status recently, with a trio of dire reports on the matter being released, and President Trump continuing to not acknowledge it’s a problem at all. House Democrats also have said they want to prioritize the issue when they take control of the lower chamber.

The details:

  • No Democratic senators are expected to attend, according to multiple Senate staffers.
  • The top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey, is sending staff instead, according to a House aide.
  • Several governors who attended last year’s event, including California Gov. Jerry Brown and Oregon Gov. Katie Brown, both Democrats, aren’t attending, according to their offices.
  • Several Democratic senators and governors attended last year when the event was held in Bonn, Germany.

What’s next: The two-week negotiations get underway Monday in Katowice, Poland, a small coal-mining city. Negotiators from nearly all countries in the world are working toward more technical agreements governing the 2015 Paris climate accord. The Trump administration is sending several staffers and is holding a side event on coal the second week, similar to what it did last year.

Go deeper: Climate change is getting too big and divisive to solve

Go deeper

34 mins ago - World

South Africa says it's being "punished" for detecting new COVID variant

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly on September 22, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Eduardo Munoz - Pool/Getty Images)

South Africa said Saturday it's being "punished" for detecting the new Omicron coronavirus variant as more countries rush to enact travel bans and restrictions.

Driving the news: The U.S. imposed air travel restrictions from eight countries Friday in response to the Omicron variant. Countries in Europe and Asia have also implemented their own travel restrictions in response to Omicron.

Trump can't quit mainstream media

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa are interviewed by Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" in September. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty Images

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa issued a rebuttal on Friday to a statement by former President Donald Trump that misrepresented their reporting — and once again showed the 45th president's thin skin about mainstream media.

Driving the news: "Former President Trump said ... our book, 'Peril,' implied that he was planning to go to war with China," the statement begins. "[W]e report that Chairman of Joint Chiefs Mark Milley 'believed that Trump did not want a war' before or after the 2020 election."

NY declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron COVID variant

Governor Kathy Hochul makes an announcement about a new plan transforming Penn Station on Nov. 3, 2021. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday declared a state of emergency amid rising COVID-19 cases and the newly-identified Omicron variant of the virus.

Driving the news: The declaration enables the state to acquire supplies to fight a potential surge in cases, increase hospital capacity and combat potential staff shortages, NBC's local affiliate reports.