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Social Responsibility

PM presents climate con to the world at COP26, says Climate Council

Health Industry Hub | November 3, 2021 |
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Australia is the worst climate performer out of all developed countries, a new report from the Climate Council has revealed.

The report From Paris to Glasgow: A world on the move assessed both Australia’s track record on climate and its commitments moving forward against its international peers and found that Australia is the worst performing when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and moving beyond fossil fuels. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressed world leaders at COP26 in Glasgow overnight in a speech that was light on commitments and credibility, but heavy on spin.

Chief Climate Councillor, Professor Tim Flannery who is on the ground in Glasgow “First the PM tried to pull the wool over Australia’s eyes when he made a net zero by 2050 announcement without modelling, new funding or any new policy – and now he’s trying to do the same with the rest of the world.”

“Our PM stood up in front of the world and effectively promised to do nothing. If speaking spots at COP26 were determined by the strength and merit of each country’s commitments, then the PM would not have been given the mic,” said Professor Flannery, who has attended five previous COPs. 

Climate Council Head of Research, Dr Simon Bradshaw, who is also at the conference “Australia is acting as a handbrake on global climate action. Government representatives have promised to spruik gas, a fossil fuel, at this climate conference and are resisting the push to phase out fossil fuels globally.”

“Australia is coming dead last in the most important race humanity has ever faced. Without a plan to cut emissions this decade or phase out coal and gas – net zero means absolutely nothing,” said Dr Bradshsaw, who has attended five previous COPs. 

Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie, who has attended 3 COP events including Paris “Aussies front up and help others – like we did during the bushfires. Aussies keep each other honest – by calling out bullshit when we hear it. And Aussies have a proud history of standing beside our allies and fighting for what’s right. 

“If the PM wants to speak on behalf of Aussies then he must announce a strong 2030 emissions reduction target. This protects Australians, our way of life, and all humanity. We can provide more support for our vulnerable neighbours, and our country needs action now, to build solar and wind plants, phase out coal and slash our pollution.” 

Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Lyn Morgain reacted to the Australian Government’s COP26 announcement on climate finance. “The Australian Government’s lack of ambition at COP26 is gravely disappointing. Without a credible 2030 target, we have no way to prove our commitment to doing our fair share to limit catastrophic warming. And critically, our contributions to support our neighbours in the Pacific and other hard-hit nations through climate finance are still inadequate. 

“While the increase to $2 billion is welcome, it is effectively only a boost of $500 million from what has already been committed until 2025. For context, New Zealand, a much smaller economy, has committed to quadruple its climate finance to $1.2 billion over four years. Australia has the capability and responsibility to provide more support to meet the needs of Pacific Island nations in adapting to the impacts of climate change. 

“Oxfam and our partners have called for the Australian Government to show its commitment to our Pacific friends by increasing its investment to $3 billion over five years. Even this was a very modest request as the Overseas Development Institute has estimated our fair share of the USD$100 billion target as USD$2.94 billion or about AUD$4 billion annually. 

“Poll after poll indicates that Australians believe climate change is a priority issue requiring more ambition from our government. We can and must do better.” 

The Climate Council recommends that Australia reduce its emissions by 75% (below 2005 levels) by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2035. This is based on rigorous scientific risk assessments.


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