The United Nations climate talks in Bonn, Germany --- COP23 --- have entered their second week and things are heating up, you could say. It was somewhat hard to predict how the USA would show up to COP23 (aside from "awfully"), given the Trump Administration pulling out of the Paris Agreement last June and the fact that our State Department is headed by the former CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson.
On the one hand, the USA official representatives just hosted a panel called “The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation,” inviting representatives of the coal, nuclear, and natural gas industries. One panelist, Barry K. Worthington, executive director of the United States Energy Association, told the New York Times he expected the panel would be a "horrible experience", saying "“The reality of it is the world is going to continue to use fossil fuels,’’ he said, “and if I can throw myself on the hand grenade to help people realize that, I’m willing to do it.”
The jury is still out on whether Worthington's valiant act of martyrdom for the fossil fuel industry woke up hearts and minds. What is clear is that their panel was interrupted by a large portion of the audience standing up and singing:
Meanwhile, on Nov 11th, in the "U.S. Climate Action Pavilion" exhibition space sponsored by non-federal US representatives, California Governor Jerry Brown was interrupted during his speech about the release of the "America's Pledge" report by the We Are Still In initiative (which the UUA is a signatory to) by members of the Climate Justice Alliance - Our Power Campaign "It Takes Roots" delegation in solidarity with California's front-line communities.
Governor Brown literally suggests killing Indigenous activists in order to "get on with the show" when his speech is interrupted a second time:
COP23 will continue through Friday, November 16th. UU Young Adults for Climate Justice leader Amelia Diehl will be reporting from her personal and the SustainUS Twitter accounts, and you can also follow Salote Soqo, UUSC's Senior Program Leader for Environmental Justice and Climate Action, on UUSC's COP23 blog.