Australian news, and some related international items

Australia the ‘poster child’ for climate change inaction

Paris Agreement architect Christiana Figueres says Australia the ‘poster child’ for climate inaction

The bushfire crisis made Australia the “poster child” for climate change inaction – but the fires should force the world to act, the architect of the Paris Agreement says., Tory Shepherd, State Editor, The Advertiser,  21 Feb 20 

Devastating bushfires have made Australia the “poster child” for climate change inaction and the world is weeping for us, the architect of the Paris Agreement says.

Christiana Figueres was the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change when it brought almost 200 nations together to commit to the historic agreement in 2015.

The global goal is to reach net zero emissions by 2050 in order to cap temperature rises, and Ms Figueres’ comments come as federal Labor commits to that goal.

“Any time the word Australia is uttered outside of Australia we all have to contain our tears,” she told The Advertiser.

“This has been so painful, so deeply painful to witness in the news every day the destructive power of bushfires that have gone completely out of control despite the heroic efforts of the firefighters.”

Ms Figueres is coming to Womadelaide in two weeks to talk about her new book The Future We Choose: Surviving the climate crisis.

The lives lost – including a billion animals – and the destruction of the environment and property are just “completely irreplaceable”, she said.

“This is not normal. This is so tragic that Australia is now the poster child, the example of irresponsible management and of undue care on climate change measures.

“I think history will be (divided into) before the Australian fires and after the Australian fires.”

Despite those words, Ms Figueres is optimistic the world can meet the Paris targets, although she is still concerned it won’t happen fast enough.She welcomed Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s commitment to the 2050 target. In a major policy speech today, the Opposition Leader said Australia had always prided itself on pulling its weight.

“We have seen climate change be a factor in our devastating bushfires. We could see it, smell it, even touch it,” he said.

”Our amazing continent is particularly vulnerable, so we have a lot to lose. But the good news is we also have a lot to gain. Action on climate change will mean more jobs, lower emissions and lower energy prices.”

Ms Figueres said it had been “rather odd” that Australia had seemed to be stepping away from the agreement, as the Federal Government battles a split on the issue.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor says the government is not going to “commit to a target without costings and without a clear plan”.

She said Mr Albanese’s commitment was “the only responsible target”.

“It’s the target stipulated in the Paris agreement. The Paris agreement is science based,” she said.

The Federal Government is setting up a Royal Commission on the summer’s devastating bushfires.

February 22, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international

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