Climate change reporter defends world leaders flying to Dubai: 'Can't do a Zoom call with 190 countries'
The senior climate reporter for Axios insisted on Sunday that world leaders must fly in rather than meet virtually in order to "move the needle" at the latest climate change summit. The United Nations' COP28 kicked off on Thursday with several prominent figures such as John Kerry, the president's special climate envoy, flying to attend in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. While world leaders and climate advocates have frequently been called out for their hypocrisy in using carbon-emitting planes, often private, to attend these gatherings, climate reporter Andrew Freedman defended it as necessary. "To all those complaining about world leaders flying to attend a mtg on climate change, youre not saying anything original. Fact is, ya cant do a zoom call with 190 countries, and face to face talks move the needle the most," Freedman wrote on X. US COMMITS TO SHUTTING DOWN ITS COAL PLANTS DURING COP28 Many other social media users mocked Freedmans post and called out the hypocrisy in suggesting that world leaders cannot adapt to Zoom calls. "It is not original because these elitist hypocrites have been at it for years. But good to see the problem is not their inability to follow their own lectures, it is us noticing. As for Zoom being off the table? A huge percentage of the US workforce managed it during a pandemic," RedState writer Brad Slager wrote. Conservative commentator Steve Guest wrote, "Axios climate reporter thinks that the elites dont need to worry about their climate hypocrisy because theyre polluting on their way to attend a climate meeting. This is the epitome of rules for thee but not for me." Fellow Republican communicator Matt Whitlock commented, "Moving the needle means unelected bureaucrats working with international elites to concoct absurd new regulations and ways to raise costs on everything in our lives for virtually no impact on climate change." "Won't someone please think of the private plane flying climate oligarchs," The Spectator contributing editor Stephen Miller joked. UN DELEGATES CIRCULATE PETITION TO SHUT DOWN US NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION AS GLOBAL CLIMATE SUMMIT KICKS OFF The annual climate change summit regularly brings out criticism of world leaders advocating for stricter policies while at the same time taking several trips on private jets. The Biden administration came under fire after several members of the cabinet, including the vice president, were confirmed to attend this year. "A significant number of Biden bureaucrats will be traveling across the globe on the taxpayer's dime, all in an effort to advocate for these anti-fossil fuel initiatives," Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., wrote in a series of letters. "They will, of course, utilize fossil fuels throughout their travels while ballooning their own carbon footprint."