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Demonstrators costumed as U.S. President Donald Trump and polar bears protest against the climate change during climate conference COP in Bonn, western Germany, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. Photo: Bernd Thissen /dpa via AP.

Bonn, Germany — Top White House energy adviser George David Banks is hosting executives from coal and nuclear companies and a former energy adviser under President Barack Obama now at a natural-gas company to speak today to a UN climate-change conference. They'll talk about how more efficient fossil fuels and nuclear power can help fight climate change.

Why this matters: The Trump administration's event at the conference is drawing incredible attention, with protests planned and hundreds lined up more than an hour before it was to begin. It'll be the one chance for conference-goers to hear from the administration that pulled the U.S. out of a global climate change accord.

I spoke with two of the panelists beforehand. Here's what they had to say:

  • "We wanted to participate at," the conference, said Lenka Kollar is the Director of Business Strategy at NuScale Power, an advanced nuclear power company. "The U.S. is giving us a platform to speak about some of these seemingly less popular technologies at" at the conference.
  • "I know that some have raised an eyebrow about Obama's energy envoy speaking at this event," said Amos Hochstein, former top State Department energy official in the Obama administration and now a top executive at Tellurian, a company working to export liquefied natural gas from the U.S. "But, I believe any opportunity to have an honest conversation about how we can have a realistic approach to reducing emissions should be embraced."

Protests are not only expected, they're planned for. With two environmental groups — 350.org and Climate Action Network — working as intermediaries between the groups expected to protest and the U.N. organizers. Jamie Henn, spokesman for 350.org, said they were involved to "make sure both can happen in the same space."

Go deeper: Check out my latest Harder Line column, published today, for some reality checking on the Trump administration's embrace of cleaner fossil fuels and nuclear power.

Go deeper

28 mins ago - World

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

Sullivan speaks with Israel's national security adviser for the first time

Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat U.S. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/Getty Images. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Photo: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister's office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.