BONN, Germany – The event at which the US administration of Donald Trump was to make its debut at a climate summit was boycotted on Monday by dozens of young people chanting “Keep it in the ground,” referring to fossil fuels.
The only official event involving the US delegation to the COP23 summit, under way in Bonn until Nov. 17, was intended to promote “universal access to fossil fuels and nuclear energy” and included speakers such as executives from Peabody Energy (a coal multinational), NuScale Power (a nuclear energy firm) and Tellurian, an exporter of liquefied natural gas.
The event was entitled “The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation” and the speakers declared that renewable energy sources like wind and solar power cannot provide enough power to meet the world’s needs.
Two hours before the start of the pro-coal event, scheduled for 6:30 pm on Monday – there was a line more than a kilometer (0.62 mile) long at the door of the venue and heated altercations erupted involving the speakers as they were entering and the crowd of young people waiting to get in, especially those standing near the door.
When the door to the location was opened to the public, many of the young people and a small number of reporters entered the hall, while the activists who were not allowed entry staged a sit-in in front of the door shouting “Climate Justice Now, Keep it in the Ground.”