News from the Natural World: “I was the first to want to divest” Global human leaders are racing to pretend they’ve always cared about divesting from fossil fuels.
You probably missed the most important announcement on tackling climate change in recent years. You were likely too busy trying to decide whether eating a whole tub of Pringles was “Greedy” or not. Typical single-minded humans. Well in case you missed it was made at the UN General Assembly. President Xi Jinping of China made the surprise announcement. He addressed the gathered humans and announced that China would cut emissions to net-zero by 2060. Many humans are arguing that the shocking statement will transform the politics of cutting carbon. Might this just be the signal of the beginning of a global rush to decarbonise?
The Platypus set out to investigate as the announcement caused such a stir in the human world. Many said that “China may have fired the starting gun on what will become a global race to eliminate fossil fuels.” However, on further digging, we discovered that every single leader of the human world was making vast sweeping promises. It is also presumably no coincidence that the majority of these large environmental promises were done in the run-up to elections. Xi’s announcement came weeks before the US Presidential election. Also, claims were made in the distant future so as not to hold the actual human making the claim responsible. However, Xi Jinping, along with Putin, Trump and Kim Jong-un, is one of the only human leaders who may actually cling onto power until 2060.
“I was the first to want to divest”
But whether sincere or not, world human leaders rushed to speak out. They all claimed they were the first to want to divest from fossil fuels. The UK declared that it was the first one to want to divest but Italy retorted that they had thought of it way before. Canada piped up that they’d actually thought of it, written it on a “To-Do-List” but then it slipped their mind. Brazil said they’d thought of it ages ago but didn’t think it was a big deal so didn’t bother to announce it. We watched on as country after country bickered to declare they wanted to divest from fossil fuels. But The Platypus wasn’t fooled. Not a single one of the human leaders actually gave any details of how their country would achieve a carbon-neutral target.
Remember, China is by far the biggest consumer of coal in the world, hoovering up about half of the global supply. It is also the world’s second-biggest user of oil – after the US. Across its economy, some 85% of its power comes from fossil fuels with 15% from low carbon sources. We were forced to conclude that the worlds human leaders were just pretending to care.
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