Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

China’s zero emissions target is contrasted with Australia’s inaction on global heating

China’s escalation is also set to have implications for Australia’s diplomatic position in the Pacific, where it has been attempting to manage China’s rising influence among some of its closest neighbours.

“From both sides of Parliament Australian politicians aren’t understanding it, they approach climate change like it’s just another issue for our Pacific counterparts. What Australian politicians do often miss is this issue is personal,” said Professor Bamsey.

“It concerns Pacific politicians when they get out of bed, they can see the changes to the future of their country when they look out the window.”

China’s zero emissions target puts Australia on notice, The Age, By Eryk Bagshaw and Mike Foley, September 30, 2020 Australia’s former top climate diplomat has warned China’s net-zero emissions target will leave Australia behind, threatening future trade deals and its influence in the Pacific as the Morrison government becomes wedged between the US and China on climate action.

Howard Bamsey, who was Australia’s special envoy on climate change during the Rudd government, said the announcement from President Xi Jinping last week had turned the politics of emissions reduction into a sharp economic and diplomatic issue.

Professor Bamsey, who was also Australia’s ambassador for the environment under the Howard government, said the new policy “pulls the rug out from under the argument” that Australia’s domestic climate goals do not need to accelerate because China was yet to increase its ambitions.

“It’s clear now China is accepting a leadership role,” he said. “Xi made the announcement. That carries all the weight of the state and party.”

The coronavirus has forced this year’s United Nations Glasgow Climate Change Conference to be rescheduled to November 2021, turning Australia’s international emissions obligations into a major election flashpoint. The earliest month a federal election can be held is August 2021 and voters are expected to go to the polls by the end of next year.

China, which is simultaneously the world’s largest polluter and biggest producer of renewable energy, pledged to go carbon neutral by 2060 at the UN General Assembly last week…………

China’s coal consumption accounted for 51.7 per cent of global use in 2019 and grew by 2.3 per cent last year, according to BP data, a greater rate than its 1.7 per cent annual average between 2008-2018.

“The proposal of this goal is to force China itself to improve and face this problem,” said Ma Jun, director of Beijing’s Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs. “Secondly, it brings pressure to other large-emitters who are unwilling to face this promise.”

Chinese industry leaders have called for a shift from subsidies to market-driven policies for the surging renewable sector as Beijing prepares to unveil details of the policy in its 14th Five Year Plan in October.

“Every kilowatt added now is a burden after 2030,” Professor Yuan Jiahai of North China Electric Power University told the 2020 China Blue Sky Observation Forum last week.

The Morrison government has an economy-wide commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 but has no target beyond that. It has been criticised for its plan to use carryover credits from the previous Kyoto agreement to meet the obligations established at the Paris UN conference in 2016.

Labor has also yet to define what target it will set. Mark Butler, the opposition’s climate change spokesman, told the ABC on Monday that the global effect of Xi’s announcement was “seismic”, as China becomes for “clean energy in the 21st century what America was for IT in the 1990s.”

Professor Bamsey said the UK, European Union and a potential Biden presidency will pressure Australia to match their climate goals ahead of Glasgow.

“We are an internationally connected economy and we will have to adopt the policies of our trading partners, including our main partner in China,” he said. “We won’t be able to continue to provide goods and services and ignore the climate dimension.”

Jake Sullivan, an advisor to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, told the Lowy Institute in September that a Biden presidency would rally the nations of the world to “elevate their ambition”.

“In that regard he will hold countries like China accountable for doing more but he is also going to push our friends to do more as well, to step up and fulfil their responsibilities for what is fundamentally a global problem,” he said.

The director of the European Union’s Centre of Excellence at RMIT, Bruce Wilson, said China’s pledge would increase pressure on Australia as it attempts to negotiate free trade deals with the EU and Britain.

“If anyone is trying to do a trade deal with the EU, the Paris deal is non-negotiable,” he said.

Professor Wilson said it was still not clear if the EU would accept Australia’s use of Kyoto carryover credits to meet its obligations and said a “carbon border tax” was on the agenda for countries not compliant with the EU’s environmental standards.

“If you are exporting an emissions heavy product into Europe there will be a tax on that,” he said………..

China’s escalation is also set to have implications for Australia’s diplomatic position in the Pacific, where it has been attempting to manage China’s rising influence among some of its closest neighbours.

“From both sides of Parliament Australian politicians aren’t understanding it, they approach climate change like it’s just another issue for our Pacific counterparts. What Australian politicians do often miss is this issue is personal,” said Professor Bamsey.

“It concerns Pacific politicians when they get out of bed, they can see the changes to the future of their country when they look out the window.”

with Sanghee Liu    https://www.theage.com.au/world/asia/china-s-zero-emissions-target-puts-australia-on-notice-20200930-p560kn.html

October 1, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: