Environmentalist Tom Steyer is planning to attend the UN climate conference in Poland as the Democratic money-man continues elevating his profile ahead of a possible White House bid in 2020.
Steyer, a wealthy former hedge fund manager, has made fighting climate change an important pillar of his activist agenda. He’ll attend the conference at the end of the first week, a spokeswoman told Axios Thursday.
He might be one of only a handful of activists with political aspirations to attend the conference.
The Axios report noted there will not be any top Democratic senators in attendance, and House Energy and Commerce Committee top Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey is sending staff instead of attending. California Gov. Jerry Brown and Oregon Gov. Katie Brown aren’t attending either.
The 2018 climate summit will be dedicated to hammering out a rule book governing the Paris agreement former President Barack Obama signed in 2015. But sources told Reuters the summit will include one unique element not presented in previous years.
President Donald Trump is using the platform to illustrate the importance of pushing cleaner forms of fossil fuels. Proponents of coal and natural gas will dominate the panel, which will also likely feature a U.S. Energy Department representative. There are no plans to include a representative for the green energy industry.
Steyer’s role as a Democratic kingmaker is splotchy, despite becoming a major campaigner in 2018. (RELATED: REPORT: Trump Plans On Hyping US Coal At UN Summit Discussing Climate Change)
The California billionaire created political advocacy group NextGen America in 2012 and has plowed over $100 million into various political campaigns since 2016. Steyer has seen little success on this front, as many of the candidates and initiatives he has promoted in the past have fallen flat.
Steyer forked over more than $5 million into Tallahassee, Florida, Mayor Andrew Gillum’s unsuccessful gubernatorial run. Gillum was one of a handful of Democratic candidates pushing for Trump’s ouster — Steyer devoted millions of dollars to a campaign dedicated to impeaching the president.
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