Protesters disrupt US fossil fuels promotional event: 'Keep it in the ground'

Protesters on Monday interrupted a U.S.-sponsored event promoting cleaner fossil fuels ahead of a United Nations climate change summit.

Approximately 100 protesters in the audience at the event, entitled "U.S. innovative technologies spur economic dynamism," seized a microphone and interrupted opening remarks by Wells Griffith, the senior director for energy at the National Security Council, Reuters reports.

The group waved banners, chanting, "Keep it in the ground."


"I’m 19 years old and I’m pissed," shouted Vic Barrett, who is a plaintiff in Juliana v. United States, a lawsuit filed by 21 young people against the federal government for allowing activities to continue that they say contribute to climate change. 

“I am currently suing my government for perpetuating the global climate change crisis," Barrett said. "Young people are at the forefront of leading solutions to address the climate crises and we won’t back down.”

Prior to the interruption, Griffith was saying that it is important to be pragmatic when dealing with climate change.

“Alarmism should not silence realism," Griffith said. "This administration does not see the benefit of being part of an agreement which impedes U.S. economic growth and jobs."

The recent release of two U.N. climate reports has spurred arguments between conservatives and progressives over what can and should be done to assuage climate change.

Some Democrats are calling for a "Green New Deal," which would aim to transition the country to 100 percent renewable energy for electricity and guarantee jobs for the unemployed, among other things.

Conservatives have argued for fracking and other technologies that allow consumers to rely on less polluting fossil fuels, contending that progressive's plans are not economically feasible. 

On Saturday, President TrumpDonald TrumpClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden's Inauguration Day Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Biden reverses Trump's freeze on .4 billion in funds MORE slammed the Paris climate agreement for its economic repercussions. He has often targeted the Paris pact in the past and previously announced the U.S. will withdraw from the accords.

“The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris. Protests and riots all over France,” Trump tweeted. “People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment.”

The U.N. conference where the U.S. put on its fossil fuel event is working to hash out rules to implement the agreement and only a small American delegation attended.