Trudeau: Reducing coal use 'greatest challenge' in climate change
MANILA, Philippines – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, November 14 said reducing coal consumption remains the "greatest challenge" in addressing climate change.
"Let me be very blunt about this: Coal represents perhaps the greatest challenge to the world not meeting its climate change targets," Trudeau said on the sidelines of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila.
Trudeau was answering a reporter's question on how Canada saying it can develop oil sustainably is different from the United States saying it is finding ways to burn coal more cleanly. (READ: 4 hard truths about Justin Trudeau)
The prime minister, who is criticized for his "hypocrisy" on climate change, went on to discuss how Canada is "taking significant steps" to phase out coal while also moving beyond investing in renewable energy.
He also mentioned Canada's $2.65-billion pledge meant to help developing countries fight climate change.
"But we know that the atmosphere doesn't care where carbon is emitted. It all impacts on all of us. So we are committed to working with our international partners, with our friends and allies, to reduce coal consumption, to reduce emissions related to coal, and to find alternatives that are less polluting," he said during Tuesday's press briefing.
When the reporter zeroed in on oil, Trudeau only said that "we need to reduce fossil fuels in general to move towards a low carbon economy."
"Coal is the dirtiest, oil is next, and then natural gas has the lowest emissions profile of the fossil fuels," he explained.
Aside from reducing fossil fuels, Trudeau said there is also the need to "create much greater energy efficiencies" while ensuring that the extraction and processing of fossil fuels has minimal impact on the environment.
"It's hardest to do with coal but we recognize that there is much to do in improving our efficiencies and our cleanliness or the lowering of emissions around all fossil fuels," he added.
Advocates have criticized Trudeau as a "stunning hypocrite" and a "disaster for the planet" after he announced his support for pipeline projects linking Alberta's oil sands to British Columbia and the United States Midwest. – Rappler.com