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Two US Delegations To Show At UN Climate Summit - Opposing Views

Two US Delegations To Show At UN Climate Summit

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The United States' exit from the Paris Climate Agreement has foreign delegates wondering what the U.S. will bring to the table at the 23rd annual "conference of the parties" (COP23) held by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Both an "official" and "unofficial" delegation plans to arrive to the summit.

COP23 takes place in Bonn, Germany, and lasts from Nov. 6 to Nov. 17. The goal of the international conference is to set policies and goals for mitigating human impact on the global climate.

Among other things, a number of countries such as France, Korea, China and the U.K. will showcase their efforts to fight climate change. Forbes reports that this is the first year that the U.S. won't have a display at the U.N. Climate Summit.

Several other countries were expected to follow the U.S. after President Donald Trump announced the nation's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement in June. None of them did. Even Nicaragua, who refrained from joining the agreement for feeling that it was not strict enough, has agreed to sign on since the U.S. departed, The Washington Post reports.

According to The Guardian, the U.N.'s chief climate negotiator, Christiana Figueres, thanked Trump for dropping out.

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"It provoked an unparalleled wave of support for the treaty," she said. "He shored up the world’s resolve on climate action, and for that we can all be grateful."

Since it takes four years to formally withdraw from the climate agreement, the U.S. has influence over related negotiations. Two distinct U.S. delegations plan to attend.

According to The Washington Post, the Trump administration is sending a State Department-led delegation with a "career diplomat" in charge. Other officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will also show, although EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is not likely to be one of them.

The official delegation will give a presentation titled "The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation." They are expected to emphasize how U.S. energy resources can be used to fuel the electricity needs of poorer nations.

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Forbes reports that "unofficial" delegation called "We Are Still In" -- comprised of 2,500 philanthropists, business leaders and politicians -- is also going to the conference. It includes former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and the three West Coast Democratic governors: Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Jerry Brown.

"With Washington off to the side, California is going to assert itself because it has the experience, and we have the commitment. And we want to join with others," said Brown, who was recently named as a special adviser for states and regions to the Bonn conference, in an interview. "So, we will play an important role as cheerleader in chief and also as collaborator."

Brown is expected to give a talk titled "America’s Pledge" on behalf of California and other Democratic states on Nov. 11, Forbes reports. The unofficial delegation also plans to open a "U.S. Climate Action Center Pavilion" starting Nov. 9.

Sources: Forbes, The Washington Post, The Guardian / Featured Image: Obama White House/Flickr / Embedded Images: Mateusz Wlodarczyk/Wikimedia Commons, California Air Resources Board/Flickr

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