Nov 13, 2017

What you'll hear at Trump's climate event

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 — and Climate Action Network — working as intermediaries between the groups expected to protest and the U.N. organizers. Jamie Henn, spokesman for, 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

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to less than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 5,401,701 — Total deaths: 345,060 — Total recoveries — 2,149,407Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 1,643,238 — Total deaths: 97,720 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

President Trump doubled down on his push to reopen schools, tweeting late Sunday: "Schools in our country should be opened ASAP."

Zoom in: Trump pushed back on NIAD Director Anthony Fauci cautioning against the move earlier this month, calling his concerns "not an acceptable answer."