Tag: Australia

Australia moving backwards with a Fossil

Australia is the lucky recipient of the first Fossil of the Day award here in Bonn in recognition of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's stupendously brazen denial of the catastrophic risks posed by climate change. And to commend him in his recent efforts to form a gang of of "like minded" countries opposed to climate change action. News reports say Abbott  may have co-opted Canada into his new scheme, and is reaching out to other countries including the UK and India in an attempt to "dismantle global moves to introduce carbon pricing."  ECO salutes Abbott's commitment and consistency in his wilful blindness to the crippling economic costs of climate change. 

Abbott must have missed the memo from the IPCC, when he decided to keep climate change out of the G20 talks that it’s hosting later this year, which spells out how climate change is an economic problem. It's already costing us but, it doesn't cost the earth to save the world.

Abbott is clearly looking for recognition of his madcap scheme, and ECO is proud to be among the first to step out and congratulate him for his dedication to the fossilised past. And now, this isn’t a joke, Abbott is actually doing this - sometimes truth is stranger than fiction!

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Australia awarded Fossil of the Day at UN Climate Talks for Trying to Reconvene Flat Earth Society

June 10 2014, Bonn - Germany: CAN bestows the first Fossil Award of the Bonn UNFCCC negotiation session to Australia in recognition of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's stupendously brazen denial of the catastrophic risks posed by climate change in his effort to form an alliance of "like minded" countries opposed to action on climate change, already dubbed by some as a new "flat earth society."   
News accounts report that the Minister has enjoined Canada in his new coalition and is reaching out to other countries including the UK and India "aiming to dismantle global moves to introduce carbon pricing."  
CAN salutes the Abbott's commitment and consistency in his willful blindness to the catastrophic economic costs incurred by climate change. 
He has also recently announced his intention to keep climate change out of the upcoming G20 talks hosted by Australia arguing that  climate change is inappropriate because such talks are primarily about economics.  
Prime Minister Abbott must have missed the IPCC memo which spells out that climate change is the economic problem facing our age - it's already costing us, but it doesn't cost the earth to save the world. 
He is clearly looking for recognition of his visionary approach to climate change, and CAN is proud to be among the first to step out and congratulate his dedication to the fossilized past.  [In case you were wondering – no, this isn't a joke.  Abbott has really done this.  Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.]
Notes to Editors: 
About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 100 working to promote government and individual action to limit human induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  
About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks. 
About the rays: CAN, gives out the 'Ray of The Day' award to the countries who are a ray of hope over the past days of negotiations at the UN climate change conference

Australia’s “new” 18.8% reductions target: how to succeed without really trying

Everyone, please give the Australian delegation a big hug - they just tripled their emissions reduction target! And they didn’t even know it.

Thanks to the Clean Energy Act (2011) that is still law, and the wonderful impact of the carbon price over the past year, Australia’s total emissions default target has just kicked into auto-pilot and sent them on a new trajectory that will cut their emissions in 2020 by 18.8% below 2000 levels.

The Aussies are a bit “shy” about this new rise in ambition, but at ECO, we think they deserve a thank you. Spread the word and shout it loud, Australia’s heading for some big emissions reductions. Well, at least for the time being. 

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When will Australia increase its pre-2020 ambition?

The independent review by the Australian Government’s Climate Change Authority (CCA) is clear that Australia’s current 5% target is “woefully inadequate”. Instead the CCA has recommended that Australia’s fair share would be a target of a 19% reduction of emissions below 2000 levels. 

So Australia - what will it be? Will you stay on ‘woefully inadequate’ or listen to what your own Authority is saying and increase your ambition to at least a 19% reduction in emissions? Because, let’s face it — as the OECD country with the highest per capita emissions, your weight is pretty hefty…

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The Verb

The Verb’s strength comes from its writers’ varied perspectives and extensive knowledge. With representation from five continents, developed and developing nations, North and South, and 17 different countries, writing in 5 different languages, The Verb is a globally connected organisation.

Articles from The Verb have featured in Reuters, The Huffington Post, Crikey, New Matilda, Jezebel and the ABC.

Our writers are active participants in society, industry, government and non-government organisations, and reflect this experience in their articles.

Several writers are recognised in their relevant fields, and back this up with practical experience in negotiation and organisations such as the United Nations.

The Verb aims for in depth analysis of issues overlooked, misunderstood, or simplified by traditional media – issues that matter, and issues that demand a better debate.

Embedded in negotiations, our writers interview key stakeholders and provide context for their perspectives in order to give readers a comprehensive and concise account of the competing interests at play.

Each writer maintains their own perspective, with the editorial style favouring the competition of ideas and the advocacy of solutions, especially to collective action problems.

The Verb’s broader philosophy challenges people to overcome passivity and pessimism and strive for collective and active participation in the world’s global problems.

The Verb’s writers focus on solutions to the problems of negotiation. They aim to give the reader a portal into high level negotiations on diverse topics. From climate change to urban planning, women’s health to transport, Verb articles highlight the key interests at play and advocate solutions.

Allowing the reader to understand whose interests are being represented is a core aim of The Verb. We aim to answer the questions: who is asking for what, why, and how can they agree?

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Interested in knowing more? Contact us at sym(at)changeandswitch(dot)org

*** The Verb has previously been known as Speak Your Mind

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Colossal Fossil for Australia’s New Government

This year’s Colossal Fossil goes to Australia. The new Australian Government has won its first major international award – the Colossal Fossil. The delegation came here with legislation in its back pocket to repeal the carbon price, failed to take independent advice to increase its carbon pollution reduction target and has been blocking progress in the loss and damage negotiations. Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!

Canada is dishonored with a special Lifetime Unachievement Fossil Award for its long-standing efforts preventing this process from making a sufficient contribution to the fight against climate change. As long as Canada and the Harper Government puts their addiction to the tar sands first, Canada will continue to be a Fossil champion.

Canada’s record is in indeed unsurpassed – it is the only country in the world to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. And it did not event meet its pitifully lowered emissions reduction target announced in the lead-up to the Copenhagen COP. Canada’s stance is also rubbing off on other countries at the negotiations. Following Canada’s Kyoto “lead,” Japan abandoned its own 2020 target, and when Australia proposed to cut its carbon price, Canada cheered instead of staging an intervention. Canada you truly are a climate laggard... again... and again.

Singapore slinks to first Fossil for stingy stance on 2015 deal

The first place Fossil of the Day goes to Singapore for strongly opposing the inclusion of the clear elements of a roadmap to the comprehensive global climate action planned that needs to be agreed in 2015. The island city-state is blocking the development of framework to fairly divide climate action between countries. Furthermore, Singapore is promoting weak language in the text on the post-2020 carbon pollution reduction commitments, preventing national actions being integrated in a rules-based multilateral system. Despite being a member of AOSIS, Singapore is blocking progress towards the 2015 deal because of their unwillingness accept they must contribute to the solution.

Second place Fossil goes to U.S.A. We have been hearing that the Americans came here with a mandate to play a constructive role in the negotiations, which is not currently being reflected. They are blocking progress on a Long Term Finance pathway as well as an agreement on the relationship between the COP and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which are critical issues for developing countries. The U.S. is also being difficult around the establishment of an international mechanism on loss and damage, which was agreed at COP 18 last year. This is complete backtracking and a betrayal to the millions of poor and vulnerable people around the world.

Saudi Arabia wins the third place Fossil of the Day. Saudi Arabia wants to introduce the issue of “Response Measures” into the 2015 agreement. Response Measures is the about how countries like Saudi Arabia would be compensated for any loss in oil sales if the world decides to reduce the use of fossils fuels to solve climate change. It would be surprising to many to see Saudi Arabia asking governments for financial compensation when they have one the highest GDPs in the world for selling the substance that caused climate change in the first place. But Saudi Arabia is not interested in financial compensation. They just want to poison the negotiations. They are not fooling anybody.

Ray of the Day goes to Chile. The Alliance of Independent Latin American and Caribbean States (AILAC) has proven itself to be the gold standard in civil society engagement, moral integrity and simple logic by championing youth in the ADP and putting forward Intergenerational Equity. 


A Down Under Daydream

ECO nodded off during the plenary and heard this:

Dear Ministerial colleagues:

It gives me great pleasure to be here with you at this High Level Roundtable on Market Approaches for Enhanced Climate Action. I want to report to you now that after 18 months Australia’s carbon market is working well.

After the first 12 months the carbon price, supported by other policies, delivered 7% emissions reductions from covered sectors. The proportion of renewables in the energy mix surged by 23%. Inflation impacts were almost exactly as predicted at 0.7%.  Auctioning revenues funded support  for low and middle-income households, leaving them better off than before the reform. Scare campaigns saying that entire cities and industries would be wiped out proved to be mere fear-mongering. 

Australia's carbon price and limit on carbon pollution was of course designed to give a long-term signal to drive investment decisions towards low-carbon technologies and projects. The next step includes an assessment of increasing our ambition based on science and comparative action. To that end, our statutorily  independent Climate Change Authority has released a draft recommendation for Australia's emissions reduction target, informed by work programs under the Convention.

The Authority is chaired by a former head of Australia's central Reserve Bank, and its board includes Australia's chief scientist and the former head of the Australian Industry Group. It has recommended that Australia take a 15 to 25% emission reduction target by 2020 with up to 50% reduction by 2030. It identified these targets in relation to an overall carbon budget  and with a clear statement of our national interest in avoiding 2o warming.

Australia looks forward to working with you in increasing our collective targets and ambitions well in advance of COP 21. Finally, with the time-bound support for phasing out coal  power generators and the need for free permits for trade exposed sectors now almost completely irrelevant,   Australia would like to announce that 10% of the carbon price revenue will be directed to climate finance.

Thank you, Chair.


Well, it was a pleasant few moments anyway,  But then it was back to plenary reality . . . 

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Plans to Axe Warsaw’s Only Fair Share Mention Gets Fossil for Five Countries, while Australia’s Schoolboy Antics Get a Fifth Gong

Fossil of the Day, COP19, Warsaw, 20 11 2013

Credit: David Tong, Adopt A Negotiator

The first place fossil goes to India, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, and China for proposing to delete the only reference to equity in the ADP text!  (And for the wonks, we mean paragraph 9 in the ADP text).  Equity is key to the 2015 agreement and Parties must leave Warsaw with a clear understanding of how the ex ante review will be conducted. This includes – at a minimum - details on submissions, expert workshops, and the development of a technical paper on a basket of indicators covering: adequacy, historical responsibility, capability, and development and adaptation need).  Details that are really hard to achieve if you just delete the whole paragraph.  We were shocked that with all the discussions here and in Bonn, equity did not yield more than a passing reference in the first version of the ADP text.  The next iteration must expand and not ‘streamline’ references to equity.  To these members of the Like-Minded Group, we urge you to engage in the development of an ex ante review, rather than hovering over the delete button.

The second place in today’s fossil goes to Australia, who along with some other developed countries is impeding progress towards setting up an international mechanism on loss and damage here in Warsaw, as proposed by G77 and China. Trying to keep out key text elements proposed by more than 130 developing countries (such as on non-economic losses and permanent losses), delaying negotiation progress through procedural manoeuvres, and lacking a clear commitment to strong support provisions in the decision text is highly concerning.  Australia is the leader of those lacking constructive spirit.
We call on the other developed countries to work seriously for the needs of the most vulnerable countries and help in establishing an effective international mechanism on loss and damage here in Warsaw.



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