Prime Minister urged to increase climate action

August 31, 2021 at 12:03 am Leave a comment

Labor’s Climate and Energy spokeperson addressed the Better Futures Forum

Climate Action Moreland joined over 100 other organisations in August in a Declaration calling for a Better Future and increased climate action. This includes City of Moreland. An open letter dated 21 August was sent to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The Declaration was associated with the Better Futures online conference that was conducted over three days – 17-19 August 2021.

The declartion commits to:

  • taking climate actions through individual effort and collaboration to ensure Australia contributes to limiting average global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels;
  • showcasing new climate commitments and actions to inspire other Australians to realise zero emissions opportunities;
  • advocating for a national response that will deliver action at the scale required to reach net zero emissions well before 2050; and
  • working together, alongside and in partnership with Federal, State and Local Government leadership, to support the delivery of the Paris Agreement.

We recognise that responding to climate change requires all of us to act, alongside and in partnership with Federal, State and Local Government leadership. We invite all Australians to join us in helping to ensure our nation can, and will, meet its commitment under the Paris Agreement.

See the signatories page, and the full Open Letter to Prime Minister Morrison

Greater ambition promised by Labor, but few specifics

Labor’s Opposition spokesperson on Climate and Energy, Chris Bowen, told the forum on the last day:

“Our target now pales in comparison to similar countries like Canada at 40-45 per cent, Japan at 46 per cent, and the United States at 50 per cent. And of course, there are reasons to doubt that we’ll meet our already-inadequate target – and even if we do, the bulk of reductions to date were under the former Labor Government.  As a country we like to punch above our weight, but in this regard we’re not even doing our fair share.”

“Penny Wong and I would see advocacy of stronger climate action as a key pillar of Australian foreign policy under a Labor Government. But we could only do that if we lift our own ambitions and, importantly, our achievements.”

While clearly setting Labor’s policy sights as a future Federal Government on greater climate policy ambition, actual specifics were absent. Bowen deflected on the question of the Labor National Policy Platform (2021) supporting gas expansion in a question.

NSW Environment Minister calls out Federal Coalition on lack of action

Matt Kean, the NSW Liberal Government Environment Minister also addressed the forum in a pre-recorded video. He highlighted the bipartisan progress being made by the NSW Government on climate action while calling out his Federal Coalition colleagues for lack of climate action. His final words were:

“Australia should not be a climate laggard. We should be a climate leader because we can do what other countries can’t, because here in Australia we can protect our planet in ways that lift the living standards of all humanity. That is the challenge of our time and I truly believe that the generation of people here today – the current custodians of our planet – will take it on and turn it into an opportunity to underwrite our prosperity, rebuild our economy and remake our politics. “

US Climate Diplomat highlights Australia’s climate target gulf

US Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, Jonathon Pershing also addressed the better Futures Forum saying that Australia needs to step up climate ambition.

“If a country, a wealthy country like Australia is unable to move forward, it’s very hard for poor nations to think how they might do it,” Mr Pershing said. “It would be really helpful to see Australia step forward with a more ambitious effort.”

“Collectively, if Australia is not, it’s going to have to explain why not,” Mr Pershing said.

“What things will it manage to do that will be more aggressive, how does it speak to others who are doing more, and others who have less capacity and will do less?”

“China’s moving aggressively to a deep decarbonisation plan, not as fast as I would like, but it’s still moving down that road,” he said. “Australia wants to sell into that economy; it’ll have to sell something different.”

“The world can’t tolerate virtually half of the global economy not participating in the aggressive emissions trajectory,” he said. “If we’re lucky, we’ll hold things down to 1.5 degrees of warming, which means today’s disasters are what we can look forward to if we do a really good job. But those are doubled or tripled or quadrupled in the future that we are projecting with unfettered growth in emissions.”

“Glasgow is a really incredible moment” Pershing said referring to the UN Climate Change conference in Glasgow, COP26, in November.

US Climate Envoy Jonathon Pershing

Former UN Secreatary General calls out Australia’s lack of ambition

Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also spioke to the forum through a video link, put a message on Australia’s current targets bluntly: “Australia’s current goal of a 26 to 28 per cent reduction on 2005 levels by 2030, and the absence of a national zero emissions target, is out of step with its states, its trading partners, and other comparable nations. It is insufficient to meet Australia’s Paris Agreement commitments.”

“Australia’s business community and state and city governments know there is no time to waste. The Federal government now has an historic opportunity to boldly seize the moment.” he told the conference.

References:

ABC – Australia widely criticised over emission reduction targets ahead of COP26 climate talks

SMH – ‘Get out of the way’: Kean calls out Canberra over climate

Entry filed under: news, Policy. Tags: , , , , .

Moreland Olympian highlights climate action Wills voters overwhelmingly want climate action as does the rest of Australia

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