1/ Biden won’t attend the United Nations climate summit in Dubai, which draws leaders from nearly 200 countries. The White House said it would send a climate envoy, including John Kerry, Ali Zaidi, and John Podesta. While Biden has called climate change “the ultimate threat to humanity,” it’s unclear why he will skip the annual COP28 after attending the previous two summits. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates – the world’s fifth-largest oil producer – is hosting the climate talks this year. Leaked document show that the UAE plans to use its position as host country to discuss oil and gas deals with more than a dozen countries. (Associated Press / Politico / New York Times / CNN / Bloomberg / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)

  • Why an oil kingdom is hosting the COP28 climate summit. “The United Nations rotates the location of COPs each year through Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Europe. This year, it was the Asia-Pacific group’s turn to host, and the United Arab Emirates made an unopposed bid in May 2021.” (Washington Post)

  • Former Coal Towns Get Money for Clean-Energy Factories. “An Energy Department program designed to create jobs and manufacturing in communities reliant on fossil fuels is backing projects in West Virginia, Colorado and elsewhere.” (New York Times)

  • Huge Turbines Will Soon Bring First Offshore Wind Power to New Yorkers. “New York’s best bet for entering the era of offshore wind power is stacked up at the water’s edge in Connecticut.” (New York Times)

  • Sodium in Batteries: Shift May Herald Another Shakeup. “Sodium — found in rock salts and brines around the globe — has the potential to make inroads into energy storage and electric vehicles because it’s cheaper and far more abundant than lithium, which currently dominates batteries. But while chemically and structurally similar, sodium has yet to be used on a large scale, partly due to the better range and performance of similarly sized lithium cells.” (Bloomberg)

  • Costs for renewables have plummeted and growth is exceeding expectations. “In 2009, the International Energy Agency predicted that solar power would remain too expensive to compete on the grid. It continued to underestimate the growth of renewable energy and EVs. Last year, more than four-fifths of the world’s new power capacity was renewables, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.” (Wall Street Journal)

2/ Israel and Hamas agreed to extend their humanitarian pause in fighting for two more days. So far, Hamas has released 69 hostages in exchange for 150 Palestinian women and children in Israeli detention. Under the terms of the agreement, the pause could be extended by a day for every additional 10 hostages released by Hamas. Around 170 hostages abducted in the Hamas-led attacks on Oct. 7 remain in captivity in Gaza. The Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, has killed at least 13,000 people and created a humanitarian disaster for its 2.2 million residents. (New York Times / Associated Press / Washington Post / NBC News / CNN / Wall Street Journal)

  • White House grapples with internal divisions on Israel-Gaza. “The Hamas attacks and Israeli reaction have roiled the Biden team like no other issue during his presidency.” (Washington Post)

  • Gaza Civilians, Under Israeli Barrage, Are Being Killed at Historic Pace. “Even a conservative assessment of the reported Gaza casualty figures shows that the rate of death during Israel’s assault has few precedents in this century, experts say.” (New York Times)

3/ Trump revived his threat to roll back the Affordable Care Act if he returns to the White House, saying he’s “seriously looking at alternatives.” After trying and failing to repeal the ACA, Republicans have effectively given up on their calls to kill the ACA. According to a recent poll, 45% of voters say they trust Democrats when it comes to health care, while 22% said they trust Republicans. In 2017, a poll showed 22% of Americans supported the Republican effort to repeal and replace the ACA, which ultimately failed, while 55% opposed them. Nevertheless, Trump criticized Republicans who voted not to “terminate it” in 2017 and vowed not to “give up.” (NBC News / Washington Post / Axios)

  • Trump hints at expanded role for the military within the U.S. “Calling New York City and Chicago ‘crime dens,’ the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination told his audience, ‘The next time, I’m not waiting. One of the things I did was let them run it and we’re going to show how bad a job they do,’ he said. ‘Well, we did that. We don’t have to wait any longer.’” (Associated Press)

  • “Openly authoritarian campaign”: Trump’s threats of revenge fuel alarm. “Trump’s talk of seeking to ‘weaponize’ the DoJ and ‘retribution’ for opponents poses a direct threat to the rule of law and democracy in the US should he win a second term, experts say.” (The Guardian)

4/ George Santos expects to be expelled from Congress as early as this week following the release of a House Ethics Committee report, which found “substantial evidence” that he knowingly filed false campaign finance statements and used campaign funds to pay for personal expenses including rent, trips, luxury items, cosmetic treatments like Botox, and a subscription to the adult-content site OnlyFans. In a three-hour-long livestream, Santos described the report as “slanderous” and accused Ethics Committee Chairman Michael Guest of “weaponizing” his position and publishing a “hit-piece” against him. Santos currently faces 23 federal charges in an ongoing criminal case, including fraud, money laundering, falsifying records and aggravated identity theft. (Washington Post / NBC News)