Keep It In The Ground Activists Stormed Trump Administration’s Event At UN Meeting

REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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Environmental activists took over a pro-fossil fuel event at the United Nations climate conference, storming onto the stage and chanting “keep it in the ground.”

The Trump administration is maintaining a presence in the week long climate conference that’s being held in Katowice, Poland. While the conference centers around how to transition to clean energy and reduce the world’s green house gas emissions, the U.S. delegation has used it as an opportunity to promote the benefits of fossil fuels.

The U.S. government hosted a panel Monday titled “U.S. Innovative Technologies Spur Economic Dynamism.” The event was intended to “showcase ways to use fossil fuels as cleanly and efficiently as possible, as well as the use of emission-free nuclear energy,” according to a statement from the State Department.

“These job-creating innovations have contributed to reducing U.S. emissions while also growing our economy and providing reliable and affordable access to energy,” the State Department continued.

However, the meeting was derailed by a crowd of protesters who demanded an end to fossil fuels.

The group sang “keep it in the ground,” a slogan environmentalists use to demand fossil fuel sources not be extracted from the earth.

“For the second time in two years, we are disrupting a panel (manel) of Trump admin and industry cronies promoting coal, gas, oil and nuclear as ‘solutions’ at the UN climate talks,” tweeted Ben Goloff, a climate campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity.  Goloff was among those who took part in the protest.

It’s not immediately why Center for Biological Diversity is taking an issue with nuclear — a source of energy that produces large and reliable amounts of electricity while emitting zero carbon emissions.

The U.N. holds a climate change conference every year. This year’s event was notable in that it was held in the city of Katowice, Poland — a region with a heavy coal presence. Members of the U.N. meet annually to discuss how to reduce the world’s carbon emissions, and since 2015, members discuss how to meet the standards set out in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. While the Trump administration has announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris agreement, it still sends a delegation to the annual conference. (RELATED: Study: Climate Change Laws In New York And California Are Hurting Poor People The Most)

Environmental protesters also disrupted the 2017 event.

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