Quantcast

Protestors Halt Trump’s 'Clean Fossil Fuels' Panel at COP23, Dismissed as 'Promoting Tobacco at a Cancer Summit'

Popular
Thuli Makama

By Andy Rowell

Donald Trump's attempts to promote so called "false solutions" at the UN climate conference in Bonn backfired badly Monday.

The U.S. delegation had organized the event, "The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation," to promote what many see as "false solutions" to climate change, such as nuclear, the misnomer of "clean coal" and carbon capture and storage or CCS.


It included speakers from, amongst others, Peabody Energy, the largest coal producer in the U.S. "The discussion needs to be not if we use coal but how," argued Peabody.

However, the event was disrupted by activists singing a version of "God Bless the USA" and holding banners such as "We the people." Participants were also heckled and booed.

Just after White House energy adviser George David Banks began the introductions, hundreds of activists stood up and started singing lyrics that included the lines: "So you claim to be an American / But we see right through your greed / it's killing all across the world for that coal money / we proudly stand up and tell you / to keep it in the ground."

Collin Rees, a campaigner from Oil Change International who was in the room, tweeted: "Protestors just shut down U.S.-sponsored event on "clean fossil fuels" at #COP23—hundreds of people streaming out, singing & chanting. Room is nearly empty now that they're gone! #WeThePeople"

In total, the protest delayed it by seven minutes, but its impact went global. As the Washington Post noted, "The interruption underscores the controversy over the panel, as well as the broader animosity toward the Trump administration at the climate conference."

Delegates lined up to criticize the event. Tuaoi Uepa, a delegate from the Marshall Islands, called it "ridiculous," adding, "There's no such thing as clean fossil fuels ... We can't move to the future like that."

Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, argued in a Twitter post that "promoting coal at a climate summit is like promoting tobacco at a cancer summit."

Washington State governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat who attended the event, also tweeted that the world "has rejected @realDonaldTrump's denial of climate science."

Makoma Lekalakala, a delegate from South Africa, added, "They are climate criminals … We should stop them promoting false solutions to climate change."

After being evicted, the activists continued their protest outside, singing: "Climate justice now! Keep it in the ground!"

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

New pine trees grow from the forest floor along the North Fork of the Flathead River on the western boundary of Glacier National Park on Sept. 16, 2019 near West Glacier, Montana. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

By Alex Kirby

New forests are an apparently promising way to tackle global heating: the trees absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from human activities. But there's a snag, because permanently lower river flows can be an unintended consequence.

Read More
Household actions lead to changes in collective behavior and are an essential part of social movements. Pixabay / Pexels

By Greg McDermid, Joule A Bergerson, Sheri Madigan

Hidden among all of the troubling environmental headlines from 2019 — and let's face it, there were plenty — was one encouraging sign: the world is waking up to the reality of climate change.

So now what?

Read More
Sponsored
Logging state in the U.S. is seen representing some of the consequences humans will face in the absence of concrete action to stop deforestation, pollution and the climate crisis. Mark Newman / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

Talk is cheap, says the acting executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, who begged governments around the world to make sure that 2020 is not another year of conferences and empty promises, but instead is the year to take decisive action to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and the destruction of habitat-sustaining ecosystems, as The Guardian reported.

Read More
The people of Kiribati have been under pressure to relocate due to sea level rise. A young woman wades through the salty sea water that flooded her way home on Sept. 29, 2015. Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket via Getty Images

Refugees fleeing the impending effects of the climate crisis cannot be forced to return home, according to a new decision by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, as CNN reported. The new decision could open up a massive wave of legal claims by displaced people around the world.

Read More
The first day of the Strike WEF march on Davos on Jan. 18, 2020 near Davos, Switzerland. The activists want climate justice and think the WEF is for the world's richest and political elite only. Kristian Buus / In Pictures via Getty Images

By Ashutosh Pandey

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is returning to the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the 2020 World Economic Forum with a strong and clear message: put an end to the fossil fuel "madness."

Read More