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Spanish Minister Teresa Ribera criticised for hypocritical behaviour at Climate Summit, rides a bicycle to venue after travelling by private jet and cars

It was discovered that the minister had arrived at the climate summit venue in chauffeured cars after travelling in a private jet, but made a calculated decision to disembark approximately 100 meters before reaching the entrance and continued the rest of the way on a bicycle.

Spanish Minister Teresa Ribera, who holds the significant portfolios of Minister of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge as well as Deputy PM, faced severe backlash after allegedly engaging in a hypocritical act during the European Union’s Climate Summit on July 11, 2023. A video capturing the minister riding a bike to the summit went viral on Twitter, initially seeming like a commendable eco-friendly gesture. However, subsequent revelations disclosed that Ribera had actually travelled to the event via a private jet.

Netizens swiftly expressed their displeasure at what they deemed to be a calculated public relations stunt. It was discovered that the minister had arrived at the summit venue in chauffeured cars but made a calculated decision to disembark approximately 100 meters before reaching the entrance and continued the rest of the way on a bicycle. This staged action was perceived as an attempt to deceive the public and project a false image of commitment to environmental sustainability.

Moreover, during the bicycle ride, she was escorted by two armoured cars.

The backlash against Ribera was further intensified due to the nature of her ministerial responsibilities. As the Minister of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, she is tasked with overseeing Spain’s ecological policies and addressing the pressing issue of climate change. Therefore, her alleged hypocritical behaviour drew even more ire from critics.

Environmental organisations and activists have been quick to point out the stark contrast between Ribera’s outward display of environmental consciousness and the environmental impact of private jet travel. According to Transport and Environment, a prominent European clean-transport group, individuals flying on private planes emit 10 to 20 times more carbon pollution than commercial airline passengers. This revelation has only served to fuel the public’s dissatisfaction and amplify the accusations of hypocrisy against the minister.

A Twitter user Froilan I De Espana wrote, “Teresa Ribera’s thing about making you arrive by bicycle at a climate summit, travelling barely a hundred meters, escorted by two armoured gasoline cars is another of the images that perfectly define this government.”

Andrew Bridgen wrote, “She arrived by private jet with a four-car cavalcade and did the last few metres to the climate summit on a bike. She is the Spanish environment minister. Net zero, It will be enforced environmental measures reducing your freedom, standard of living and ability to travel but not for them.”

As the news spreads, the spotlight on Minister Teresa Ribera’s alleged hypocrisy continues to grow. The public demands answers and accountability from a government official entrusted with spearheading ecological and climate-related initiatives.

Climate Hypocracy of the Western Politicians

Western world politicians have faced criticism for maintaining double standards when it comes to climate change and environmental issues. While they often sermonize countries from Africa and Asia, particularly the Indian subcontinent, about the imperative of limiting fossil fuel usage to protect the environment, they themselves appear to be exempt from adhering to the same code of conduct. This perceived hypocrisy has led to frustration and scepticism among observers who question the sincerity of these Western politicians’ commitments to tackling climate change. Such inconsistencies in their behaviour not only undermine their credibility but also hinder global efforts towards achieving a sustainable and equitable future for all. The need for Western – especially European politicians – to lead by example and align their actions with their words has become increasingly vital in fostering international cooperation and addressing the urgent challenges posed by climate change.

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