Justin Trudeau isn't the only leader talking out of both sides of his mouth on climate change. Many of his G20 colleagues are just as hypocritical as the Dauphin.
G20 nations have almost tripled the subsidies they give to coal-fired power plants in recent years, despite the urgent need to cut the carbon emissions driving the climate crisis.
The bloc of major economies pledged a decade ago to phase out all fossil fuel subsidies.
The figures, published in a report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and others, show that Japan is one of the biggest financial supporters of coal, despite the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, having said in September: “Climate change can be life-threatening to all generations … We must take more robust actions and reduce the use of fossil fuels.” The annual G20 meeting begins in Japan on Friday.
China and India give the biggest subsidies to coal, with Japan third, followed by South Africa, South Korea, Indonesia and the US. While the UK frequently runs its own electricity grid without any coal power at all, a parliamentary report in June criticised the billions of pounds used to help to build fossil fuel power plants overseas.
Global emissions must fall by half in the next decade to avoid significantly worsening drought, floods, extreme heatwave and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. But emissions are still increasing, with coal-fired power the biggest single contributor to the rise in 2018.It can seem that we've descended into a state of madness. Surely these supposed leaders know what they're doing. They know the consequences they're visiting upon the world and, especially the poor and the vulnerable who, in the case of China and India are often their own people. Are they deliberately steering us to the edge of the cliff? Are they out to trigger a massive human die-off?
I am at a loss to understand these leaders.