Greg Hunt signs the Paris Agreement at UN in New York

April 25, 2016 at 5:41 pm 3 comments

Greg Hunt signs Paris Agreement in New York

Greg Hunt signs Paris Agreement in New York

Our member John Englart stayed up to the early hours of Saturday morning following the UN signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement in New York. John attended COP21 in Paris as an NGO observer.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop broke the news via twitter message to John that Australia had joined the Coalition of High Ambition in Paris. Countries at the United Nations this week judged that Australia was all talk, no action and chose to not invite Environment Minister Greg Hunt to a meeting of the Coalition of High Ambition. It seems that you actually need to have high targets and policies that encompass high ambition, not just talk positively with low targets and ineffectual policies.

The signing ceremony set a new world record of attendance at a signing ceremony for an international treaty. 175 nations sent representatives to formally sign the Paris Agreement. 15 of those nations also lodged their intruments of ratification. Greg Hunt announced that Australia would ratify before the end of the year.

Read John’s commentary and analysis at his blog: As Greg Hunt signs #ParisAgreement, I am still ashamed of Australia’s abysmally low climate targets.

John described in a Greenleft talk in February 2016 how Australia was already acting at variance to the Paris Agreement:

I’d like to discuss how in just two months Australia is already acting at variance to the Paris Agreement.

  • Kyoto carryover credits – Malcolm Turnbull announced at COP21 that we would “meet and beat our 2020 emissions reduction target.” But our target is so low – 5% on 2000 levels and he neglected to say we are using Kyoto carryover credits from the first commitment period to meet this target.

    Although legal to do this the Paris COP decision explicity states at 107: “Encourages Parties to promote the voluntary cancellation by Party…of units issued under the Kyoto Protocol” Several European countries, which exceeded much tougher targets, announced cancellation of these credits. (See With rising emissions Australia applies Kyoto credits to meet 2020 climate target)

  • Rapid reduction and Peaking emissions ASAP – In article 4 it says that “Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible”. Australia’s emissions, after a decade of year on year reductions, in 2015 rose by 1.3% and within that a 3% rise from the electricity sector.

    Energy analyst company Reputex estimates emissions growing to 4 per cent above 2000 levels by 2020 and that trend continuing with Australian emissions unlikely to peak before 2030. This trend at strong variance to that called for in the Paris Agreement. (See With rising emissions Australia applies Kyoto credits to meet 2020 climate target, Burying the bad news at Christmas: Australian Greenhouse Gas emissions rising)

  • Axing CSIRO climate science jobs breaches article 7 – The Abbott Government cut $112 million from CSIRO budget in 2014 (ABC report). Turnbull promised $90 million in December 2015 (ITNews report) to support innovation and increased commercialisation of research. A further $28 million was allocated to market innovation policy (ABC report).

    CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall announced staff cuts in two key climate research divisions. This undermines Australia’s commitment in Article 7 of the Paris Agreement: “Strengthening scientific knowledge on climate, including research, systematic observation of the climate system and early warning systems, in a manner that informs climate services and supports decision-making;”. More than 2900 climate scientists have signed an open letter opposed to these cuts. (SMH report)

  • (A fourth negation of the spirit of the Paris Agreement, since this talk transpired, is Industry and Science Minister Christopher Pyne announcing on 24 February 2016 funding of a Fossil fuel growth centre while silence remains on Australia’s Mission Innovation commitment to clean energy development technologies.)

Entry filed under: climate change info, news, Policy. Tags: , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • […] Hunt may have signed the Paris Agreement but so long as he approves coal mines of unprecedented scale, he may as well have signed the name […]

  • 2. johnlward010  |  May 11, 2016 at 1:02 am

    Reblogged this on johnlward010 and commented:
    Lots of lies in Hunts calculations and declarations.

  • 3. johnlward010  |  May 11, 2016 at 1:18 am

    University education is not so much an opportunity for Individuals to establish high paying careers, or for socially disadvantaged serfs to gain scholarships to lift themselves out of a poverty trap.
    No! The value of university education is as a nation building necessity, advancing the skills knowledge and talents of the best of our students, ensuring the capacity of our country to grow and prosper.
    Universities that provide advanced science, research and development are the foundations on which we build our capacities. Accumulation, of skills and knowledge, is invaluable in the development of Internationally competitive quality products.

    This effect is transient, retention of corporate of knowledge or memory is almost impossible to maintain, as Dr. Edwards W Deming often said about successful workplaces, “it is what those people carry around in their heads; and their ability to work together.” This fact highlights the truth, that skills and knowledge cannot be owned by a corporation; they are on loan within the cooperative efforts of teams within corporations.

    So when a new manager trims some ‘fat’ from the team they pare away the dynamic that underpins success, and the organization loses skills while becoming unconsciously incompetent.

    The CSIRO claim that they still have the knowledge within the organisation that helped identify ripples in space, just as Einstein predicted; is clearly wrong now it has disbanded the team, The CSIRO has a record that it once had the capacity to accomplish such an outcome.
    We normally think of universities at the peak of a pyramid of organisations, providing knowledge and support in response to community demands. Through an education and training system, where the separate sections, function as independent entities, with separate and distinct interests.
    If you invert that pyramid in your minds eye, you will clearly  see jobs have their origin in exceptional university engineering, physics, electronics, mathematics and human research capacities. , down through long-established and excellent TAFE skill development systems, down through our schools to the jobs; the cultural and community needs, grow as a knowledge-based society matures.
    Imagine that new perspective as a tree of knowledge, you will understand it as a living, interdependent, human thing. Its vitality comes from the constant flow of the energy from our collective brains. 
    It is not a mechanical structure. Nor an institution capable of being split into separate components from the whole. It is an interconnected, interactive and vital whole.
    Investors seeking out prospects for success, and gaining the productive edge. Look for a high skill high wage context, as described in the tree of knowledge. These usually are the investors who take the long-term view. 
    We must accept national change from low skill low wage to a high tech high skill, high wage leading edge community. Driven by education and welcome new ideas as possibilities to be grasped with both hands.
    Long term thinking, beats short term thinking, every time!
    Remember, Einstein told us “Imagination is everything”. We should improve on, our wealth creating imaginative and inventive capabilities, for example; WiFi and Ultrasound, Vaccines and Cochlea Hearing aids.
    Education is the price we must pay to advance our National Interest, in every field. Government should fund individual graduates and then reward Universities for the quality and numbers of students they graduate.
    Pogo said it, “We have met the enemy, and he is us”!


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