Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia not invited to high level climate group in New York

Map Turnbull climateAustralia has sought ongoing involvement in the coalition, and had reached out to the countries involved through diplomatic channels, but had so far been rebuffed.

“It is difficult to be in a high ambition coalition if you are a low ambition country.”

Australia snubbed by ‘high-ambition’ group at climate talks in New York, The Age, April 22, 2016 Tom Arup, Adam Morton

Australia was not invited to a meeting of the ”high ambition coalition” on climate change in New York this week. Nobody likes left being out of the cool gang – especially one they have asked to join.

But that was Australia’s fate overnight when it was excluded by a group of countries describing itself as the “high ambition coalition” on climate change, reflecting ongoing wariness about our commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The apparent snub came as up to 170 countries gathered at the United Nations in New York to formally sign the Paris climate deal reached last December.

The high ambition coalition – including heavy-hitters such as the US, Canada, Germany and Brazil – came together in Paris in a bid to bolster the strength of a global climate agreement and head-off moves by countries such as India and Saudi Arabia to water down parts of the deal.

Australia was not initially involved, prompting claims other countries did not believe it was serious about being a player at the talks. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop dismissed this, later saying it had been invited to join by the European Union and had accepted. She hit back at criticism on social media.

But Australia, which is being represented by Environment Minister Greg Hunt in New York for the signing, was not invited to the first meeting of the group since Paris, which was held on Friday morning Australia time.

It is understood Australia has sought ongoing involvement in the coalition, and had reached out to the countries involved through diplomatic channels, but had so far been rebuffed.

A diplomatic source said of the New York get-together: “They [Australia] were definitely aware of the meeting. There is definitely ongoing interest.”

Asked why Australia had not been invited, another diplomatic source said it had not been involved in the main work of the coalition in Paris.

Erwin Jackson, the Climate Institute’s deputy chief executive, said it was likely that Australia’s weak climate policies had led to it being left out.

“We’ve got a 2030 target consistent with 3 to 4 degrees of global warming and we’ve got a domestic policy framework that has seen emissions increase from the electricity sector,” Mr Jackson said.

“It is difficult to be in a high ambition coalition if you are a low ambition country.”……

It is understood the New York meeting discussed how the countries involved would start translating the Paris deal – including a goal of keeping global warming to within 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels – into practice back home. It also heard from civil society and business leaders, including former US vice-president and climate change campaigner Al Gore……….. http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australia-snubbed-by-highambition-group-at-climate-talks-in-new-york-20160421-gobk58.html#ixzz46ayDUXEY

April 22, 2016 - Posted by | General News

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