Australian news, and some related international items

Coal lobby prominent at UN climate talks in Poland

COP24 President defends participation of coal companies at climate talks, ABC, The World By Erin Handley 7 Dec 18, COP24 President Michal Kurtyka has defended displays of coal soap and jewellery at key climate change talks in Poland, saying “it’s good to have everybody on board”.

Key points:

  • The climate talks drew some ridicule for putting coal on display in the foyer
  • New Zealand has named climate change as its biggest security threat
  • Pacific nations are facing an existential threat, Michal Kurtyka said

Conference attendees were confronted with coal displays in the foyer and greeted by a performance from the Polish Coal Miners Band during the talks designed to bring about global action on climate change.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said using coal was not in conflict with climate protection, and with the climate change talks taking place in the city of Katowice — a coal mining stronghold — some observers said the setting undermined the purpose of the talks.

Mr Kurtyka, who is also a secretary of state in the Ministry of Environment, denied that coal companies “sponsored” the event, which he said was publicly funded by Poland — but said there were several partners, including Ikea and energy companies. …….

Richie Merzian, director of the Australia Institute’s Climate and Energy Program, said the coal-heavy setting left “a sour taste in the mouths of those who are committed to climate action”.

“But at the same time it is symbolic of trying to deal with the vested interests and the long history of reliance on fossil fuels in many of these cities and countries.”

Mr Merzian added that coal companies were not on the same page as delegates seeking an ambitious plan to combat climate change.

“Their core business is directly in contrast to … the goal of the Paris Agreement, which is to transition completely away from reliance on fossil fuels,” he said, adding that the influence of coal companies on governments ran deep.

“Stopping that outright, in-your-face sponsorship would definitely help in terms of optics, but a lot of the influence is just strongly embedded into the positions that the countries bring forward.”………

Yesterday New Zealand released a defence policy statement naming climate change as its biggest security threat and stressing the impact of climate change on the Pacific.

“It identifies climate change as one of the most significant security threats of our time, and one that is already having adverse impacts both at home and in New Zealand’s neighbourhood,” said Defence Minister Ron Mark in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Australia, however, has turned its back on its Pacific neighbours in terms of climate change, Mr Merzian said.

“The Pacific are getting desperate, and instead of their friends helping, they’re hurting,” he said.

“Poland is the Australia of the EU — the largest coal user, the largest coal producer — but unlike Australia that can operate in its own bubble, Poland has to marry up its position with its EU colleagues as a bloc, and that’s why they help drag Poland to be better than what it would otherwise be.”

December 8, 2018 - Posted by | General News

1 Comment »

  1. […] via Coal lobby prominent at UN climate talks in Poland — Antinuclear […]


    Pingback by Coal lobby prominent at UN climate talks in Poland — Antinuclear | | December 8, 2018 | Reply

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