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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

21 mins ago - World

Jimmy Lai among Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders sentenced to prison

Students standing under a banner during a flag raising ceremony on the first annual National Security Education Day in Hong Kong. Photo: Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A Hong Kong court sentenced a group of pro-democracy activists to up to 18 months in prison Friday for organizing a massive unauthorized protest in August 2019 that drew an estimated 1.7 million people, AP reports.

Why it matters: Critics say the sentences send the message that even peaceful pro-democracy activism will be severely punished. They mark a continuation of Beijing's overhaul of Hong Kong's political structure, designed to crack down opposition to the Chinese Communist Party.

Local news moves to the inbox

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A slew of new companies are launching platforms for local newsletters, a shift that could help finally bring the local news industry into the digital era.

Driving the news: Substack, the email publishing platform for independent journalists, on Thursday announced a new local news platform.

J&J vaccine pause hurts its reputation

Reproduced from Economist/YouGov poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans' confidence in the safety of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine took a big dip this week after the pause in its use, per new YouGov polling, even though the risk of blood clots following the shot is extremely low, if it exists at all.

Why it matters: For the majority of people, particularly high-risk Americans, getting the J&J shot is almost certainly less dangerous than remaining vulnerable to the coronavirus.