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G20 & COP26: The Hypocrites’ Show

A show where our political elites act as if they care about climate change and us

Emmanuel Macron, Boris Johnson, Joe Biden.

From the summit of the G20 in Rome ended on the 31st October to the ongoing COP 26 in Glasgow which some TV News Anchors mistakenly mentioned as the capital of Scotland (funny how our media and journalists with their supposedly significant knowledge can be that nescient), our ruling elites flaunt their hypocrisies as they pretend that they care about climate change and our survival as human in this dying planet. 

Code Red for Humanity

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned “a code red for humanity” after the latest report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 

May 2021: Pak Rasali stands outside his home in Java, Indonesia, which was damaged by exposure to the sea, which was several hundred meters further out just 10-12 years ago. Photograph: Ed Wray/Getty Images
May 2021: Pak Rasali stands outside his home in Java, Indonesia, which was damaged by exposure to the sea, which was several hundred meters further out just 10-12 years ago. Photograph: Ed Wray/Getty Images

Climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying, and some trends are now irreversible.

“ Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Scientists are also observing changes across the whole of Earth’s climate system; in the atmosphere, in the oceans, ice floes, and on land.

Many of these changes are unprecedented, and some of the shifts are in motion now, while some – such as continued sea level rise – are already ‘irreversible’ for centuries to millennia, ahead, the report warns.”

UNICEF/Sokhin A 16-year-old child swims in the flooded area of Aberao village in Kiribati. The Pacific island is one of the countries worst affected by sea-level rise.
On 26 October 2014, Peia Kararaua, 16, swims in the flooded area of Aberao village in Kiribati. Kiribati is one of the countries most affected by sea level rise. During high tides many villages become inundated making large parts of them uninhabitable.....On 22 March 2017, a UNICEF report projects that some 600 million children – or 1 in 4 children worldwide – will be living in areas where water demand far outstrips supply by 2040. Climate change is one of the key drivers of water stress, which occurs when more than 80 per cent of the water available for agriculture, industry and domestic use is withdrawn annually. According to the report “Thirsting for a Future”, warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, increased floods, droughts and melting ice affect the quality and availability of water. Population growth, increased water consumption, and an even higher demand for water largely due to industrialization, are also draining water resources worldwide, forcing children to use unsafe water, which exposes them to potentially deadly diseases like cholera and diahrroea. The poorest and most vulnerable children will be most impacted, as millions of them already live in areas with low access to safe water and sanitation. The impact of climate change on water sources is not inevitable, the report says, citing a series of recommendations that can help curb its effect on the lives of children.

Despite this dire alarming reports from scientists who have warned us for decades and as the 1.5 degree threshold is perilously close, our political leaders have shown negligence and inaction to the critically urgent climate crisis and even accelerate the global warming. 

US President Joe Biden has recently asked for an increase in oil production. The UK government is granting permission for new coal mines and gas plants and in September this year alone sent more than 7,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste to countries such as Malaysia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Turkey, according to the nonprofit Last Beach Clean Up. While French President Macron and his government were recently condemned for their climate inaction by Conseil d’État (State Council) on July 1st and on October 22 by Tribunal administratif de Paris (Paris Administrative Court). All three countries, US, UK, and France are still heavily investing in fossil fuels. EU even extends the subsidies for fossil fuels to 2027. 

Joe Biden's Sleeping During COP26
The US President, Joe Biden fell asleep during COP26 in front of a PLASTIC coffee cup. They can't even served a more 'environmentally friendly' cup? The Irony of it all.
Here is to another one, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also fell asleep during COP26. This is how serious he is about climate change crisis.
Environmental Activists With Macron Picture Upside Down
COP26 in Glasgow: Environmental Activists With Macron Picture Upside Down, standing in front of a huge poster that says "Paris Agreement in Flames. Macron Looks Away."

Absolute Hypocrisy: The Dirty Coalition between France and the Central European Countries

In France, President Macron and his political party LaREM proposed to the European Commission to include gas and nuclear as green energy. France even goes as far as making a coalition with Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, Poland who refused to end its gigantic coal exploitation, and the pro-gas Czech Republic to push its nuclear ambition. France supports these 3 countries continuing use of fossil fuels in exchange for these countries’ support in the EU for nuclear. 

Bas Eickhout on French Dirty Coalition for Nuclear
Screenshot of Mediapart's Article: Bas Eickhout on French Dirty Coalition with Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic for Nuclear as Green Energy in the EU.

Dutch European Deputy from the Green Party Bas Eickhaut even called this alliance as “coalition sale” (dirty coalition). He stated that France for several months has been explicit in its support for nuclear to be included in the EU energy taxonomy and that many French diplomats were seen in the East part of Europe to gain support for its proposition and that this French lobbying has gone too far. 

This coalition was confirmed by the French ambassador for the Czech Republic Alexis Dutertre who proudly announced on his Twitter account the active cooperation between France and the Czech Republic to include gas and nuclear in the EU taxonomy. 

Finally, on October 22, President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced on her Twitter: “We also need a stable source, nuclear, and during the transition, gas.”

Our government and politicians’ actions are in contradiction with the objectives set in the Paris Agreement and the Net Zero by 2050 recommendations by IEA (International Energy Agency). Several studies such as by Can Europe and by Artelys reveal that the EU does not need to develop new gas infrastructure to supply its energy need. 

The last paragraph of the well-written Mediapart’s article titled “À la COP26, le double jeu hypocrite d’Emmanuel Macron” (At COP26, the double hypocrisies of Emmanuel Macron) sums up excellently Macron’s double hypocrisies, on one hand, as the initiator of the diplomatic success of the 2015 Paris Agreement and, on the other hand, making French nuclear industry as primary in the climate crisis. 

Last paragraph of Mediapart's article on COP26 that sums up well France's hypocrisy regarding climate change
Last paragraph of Mediapart's article on COP26 that sums up well France's hypocrisy regarding climate change.

G20: The French Strategic Moves Towards Indo-Pacific in Particular Indonesia and The Arms Deal

This year the G20 discussed the pandemic, the availability of vaccines for “developing” and “poor” countries, the climate change, but they were all kept at a bare minimum. The most significant result from the G20 meeting is fiscal, how to tax corporations as little as possible. 

The 2021 G20 Summit was used by France as an opportunity to rebound from its embarrassing diplomatic failure after Australia cancelled the purchase of 12 French submarines worth AUD 90 Billions or roughly 56 Billion Euros out of an agreement in 2016 between Paris and Canberra. Instead, Australia will buy the American and English submarines to counter China’s rise on the world geopolitical stage and forms a trilateral alliance with the US and UK, an alliance that is called AUKUS.

Emmanuel Macron had received Joe Biden a day before the G20 started in Villa Bonaparte, where the French embassy for the Vatican resides. In this meeting, US President Joe Biden admitted that what the USA did is inappropriate and inelegant.

The French President responded: “We clarified what we need to clarify” and in return, he demands American support in the Sahel region of Africa and for the progress of European Defense.

In Rome, the French President also held talks with other countries of power in the Indo-Pacific region such as Indonesia (meeting with President Jokowi), India (meeting with PM Narendra Modi), and South Korea (meeting with South Korean representatives) to defend French interests in the region. 

After a talk with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, a true strategic partnership (un véritable partenariat stratégique) was announced. French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will visit Jakarta next as the next year G20 will be held in Indonesia. 

G20 Rome 2021: France's Strategic Moves to Indonesia
Screenshot of Mediapart's Article on G20 2021 that reveals France's Strategic Moves to Indonesia

The content of this meeting between Macron (France) and Jokowi (Indonesia) is still a secret. For Delphine Alles who is a Politics Professor and Director at National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (Inalco), Professor at EHESS and also a Researcher at Institute of Strategic Research of Military School (IRSEM), the stakes for Emmanuel Macron is to show that France will keep its high-level strategic partnership in the Indo-Pacific region despite Australia’s betrayal. She also said that the cooperation between France and Indonesia has existed since 2011 during the visit of Francois Fillon who was the Prime Minister under President Nicolas Sarkozy, but the France-Indonesia relationship was relatively abandoned. This resulted in President Francois Hollande afterward visiting the Archipelago (Indonesia) in 2017.

It is worth noting that France has recognised the huge potential of Indonesia for a long time that President Francois Mitterrand visited Indonesia in 1986 and France has been trying to “strengthen” its business with Indonesia ever since. Besides being a country rich in natural resources, Indonesia is the 4th most populous country with 270 million inhabitants and an immense resource of well-educated smart highly promising young people. This makes anyone and any country want to do business with Indonesia, understanding the richness of the country.

Delphine Alles further stated that for the moment France would like to deepen its existing relationship with Indonesia, which is precisely about Indonesia’s promise to buy 38 French fighter jets Rafale worth USD 2.9 Billion (Rafale price is approximately USD 80 million each) OR Indonesia’s willingness to take common actions against climate change.

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto Shakes Hands with French Minister of Defense Florence Parly
Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto Shakes Hands with French Minister of Defense Florence Parly. The reason of Prabowo's visit to Paris on June 2021 is to discuss arms deal with France.

This French threat to Indonesia to buy its Rafale came after Indonesia took a retaliatory measure against France by not wanting to buy its fighter jets if France pass a green law that stops the palm oil import or reduce the palm oil importation through higher taxes. Total, French oil corporation has been actively involved in the deforestation of South East Asia notably Indonesia and Malaysia for its palm oil plantations. 

Emmanuel Macron on his Twitter boasted: “The COP26 will succeed if we state, loudly and clearly, our shared determination to end deforestation. France was the first European country to adopt a strategy for combatting imported deforestation. The lungs of our planet are at stake and we need to save them.” 

This is an utterly blatant lie and hypocrisy from Macron as France helps and serves its multinational corporations such as Total to do the pillaging all over the world. Total is the main actor behind the imported deforestation of Indonesia, Malaysia, and French Guiana. Therefore, France is the Sponsor of Imported Deforestation. France is definitely neither a country that combats deforestation nor the first European country that does that. In fact, France is the Perpetrator of Deforestation and Environmental Destruction that cause the Climate Change Crisis.

Coverage from Mediapart titled “In Uganda, France is at the service of Total”.

La France, Complice Des Ravages de TOTAL en Ouganda” (France is Complicit in the Total’s Pillaging and Environmental Destruction of Uganda).

“Total Endanger The Coast of Guiana”. Here in this video from Le Media, the spokesperson of “Stop Petrole Offshore” explains how Total is going to destroy the environment on the coast of Guiana to extract 500 million to 1 billion barrels of oil of the coast’s oil reserves. The project will start this December until 2022. This Total’s project that is fully approved by the French government not only aggravates climate change by the continuing use of fossil fuel but also endangers the ecosystem, killing the animals (turtle, dolphin, whale, etc) and plants surrounding it.

Delphine Alles also mentioned that these powerful Indo-Pacific countries do not want an exclusive bilateral partnerships with France. In the case of Indonesia, Delphine Alles stated that Indonesia neither wants a special military alliance with France nor the continuing presence of the French military in its water territory.

The AUKUS showed the fragility of doing international business and France’s diminishing power in the world. And this is where Indo-Pacific plays a huge role, especially Indonesia’s role. As Delphine Alles confirmed it in her words: “Our country didn’t expect this incident, but ASEAN changes by the intermediary of its states’ business members, and for Indo-Pacific, it is Indonesia who plays this important role.”

A business promise will stay a business promise without a legally binding contract or business agreement. Whether Indonesia can be “threatened” or “bullied” into buying French weapons and arms is interesting to see as these two countries’ bilateral relationship evolves in the ever-changing world’s geopolitical sphere.

French Military Bases in Indo-Pacific
French Military Bases and Presence in The Indo-Pacific as of 2019. Not only the US Military is Present In or Surrounding Indonesia and Indo-Pacific, but also the French Military.

Could “France’s Strategic Moves” to Indo-Pacific be an Imperialist Maneuver to defend or expand its declining Empire against the threat of the USA and the rising power of China? The answer is yes according to the defence strategy defined by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces (Ministère Des Armées).

Mediapart's Article on G20 Titled "Au G20 : des vœux pieux, des rabibochages, mais pas d’annonce significative sur le climat" (At G20: The Wishful Hope, The Tinkering, but No Significant Announcement for The Climate).
Mediapart's Article on G20 Titled "Au G20 : des vœux pieux, des rabibochages, mais pas d’annonce significative sur le climat" (At G20: The Wishful Hope, The Tinkering, but No Significant Announcement for The Climate).

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