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Crooked timber and the quest to cut emissions

14 1 0
04.12.2018

LONDON – “Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made,” wrote Immanuel Kant in 1784. It is still true.

On Sunday the 24th Conference of the Parties — the 180 countries that signed the climate change treaty in Paris in 2015 — opened in the Polish city of Katowice. The Polish government chose the venue, and it presumably selected Katowice because it is home to Europe’s biggest coal company. It was a thinly disguised show of defiance.

It’s not just U.S. President Donald Trump who loves coal. It’s by far the worst of the fossil fuels in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, but Poland gets 75 percent of its electricity by burning coal and it has no intention of changing its ways. In fact, shortly before COP24 opened in Katowice, the government announced that it is planning to invest in a large new coal mine in the region of Silesia.

In Paris on the same day, municipal workers were picking up the debris after the third and most violent weekend of protests against President Emmanuel Macron. The demos are not as big as those of........

© The Japan Times