The split screen isn’t used much in movies these days. But this week’s news could helpfully deploy the retro device.

On one side would be Sir David Attenborough pleading with delegates at the global warming summit in Poland. The other would show the protesters in Paris trashing France’s equivalent of the Cenotaph last weekend as part of increasingly violent protests sparked by their government’s decision to hike fuel duties.

Emmanuel Macron has made tackling climate change a central plank of his eclectic policy platform. Only last week, he pledged to increase renewable power’s share of electricity generation to 40 per cent by 2035, up from about a fifth now.

Macron’s hopes of using climate change to bolster France’s global leadership credentials have been truly dented.

And the scenes from Paris are bound to have given delegates at the Katowice summit pause for thought as they wrestle with the measures needed to implement the Paris agreement.

The UK can’t afford to be complacent though. Increasing fuel duty has been a toxic topic for our governments ever since the petrol pump blockades of 2000.

And at some point, politicians have to level with voters about the difficult choices surrounding the decarbonisation of heat, which will probably involve ripping trusty gas boilers out of millions of homes.
Best to start the conversation soon to stop climate change becoming yet another dividing line in our increasingly fractured society.

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