Every year, global climate summits feature a parade of hypocrisy, as the world’s elite arrive on private jets to lecture humanity on cutting carbon emissions.
But this November’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt will offer even more breathtaking hypocrisy than usual, because the world’s rich will zealously lecture poor countries about the dangers of fossil fuels – after themselves devouring massive amounts of new gas, coal and oil.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed up energy prices even further, wealthy countries have been scouring the world for new sources of energy. The United Kingdom vehemently denounced fossil fuels at the Glasgow climate summit just last year, but now plans to keep coal-fired plants available this winter instead of shutting almost all of them as previously planned.
Meanwhile, a new trans-Saharan gas pipeline will allow Europe to tap directly into gas from Niger, Algeria and Nigeria; Germany is returning to coal power plants; thermal coal imports by the European Union from Australia, South Africa and Indonesia increased more than 11-fold; and Italy is planning to import 40 per cent more gas from northern Africa.
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