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Protesters disrupt an event Monday hosted by the Trump administration touting fossil fuels at climate conference. Photo: Amy Harder/Axios

KATOWICE, Poland — President Trump’s focus on cleaner fossil fuels and nuclear power is shared by other nations, a top White House official said at a major climate-change conference Monday.

Driving the news: The Trump administration hosted an event Monday that included comments from the U.S. and Australian governments on the importance of making fossil fuels cleaner and also including nuclear power, which emits no carbon dioxide but is nonetheless controversial for its radioactive footprint.

“There was a lot of interest [in the event]. We had a lot of people [from other countries] reach out, some gauging interest, asking about what it was, looking to participate. We’re happy to engage in these realistic conversations about global energy systems.”
— Wells Griffith, White House energy and climate adviser

The big picture: The ambition around the world for the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement is lessening, fueled by nationalistic leaders like Trump and Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who has criticized the deal and withdrew from hosting this same conference next year.

The details: Griffith, in a briefing with reporters after the event on Monday, wouldn’t name countries that have expressed interest, but a few data points suggest more support for this perspective compared to last year, when the administration held a near identical event.

  • The new inclusion of an Australian government official, Patrick Suckling, indicates support by that nation, which is a big fossil-fuel producer like the U.S.
  • The conference was thrown into disarray last weekend after the U.S. joined Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in refusing to officially "welcome" a recent landmark UN report on climate change.
“We’re not standing alone. The U.S. is actually leading the way in talking about it.”
— Griffith, on promoting cleaner fossil fuels

Reality check: The administration supports technologies that capture and store carbon dioxide from emitting facilities like coal and cement plants, but most of its policies are loosening — not tightening — standards that would make fossil fuels cleaner.

  • Trump also doesn’t acknowledge that climate change is a problem at all, casting doubt on his administration’s efforts to genuinely push a technology that exists solely because of said problem.

Go deeper

Updated 51 mins ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Chargés d'Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and non-essential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten embassy's ability to assist Americans.

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February — FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated".
  2. Vaccines: Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Beijing Olympic Committee lowers COVID testing threshold ahead of Games — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker