In December 2015, Paris will host an international climate summit. The United Nations asked participant nations to submit, by March, long-term targets for post-2020 carbon emission reductions. Australia missed the deadline. In April in Washington, DC, 17 countries are meeting for the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate to start work on a climate deal ahead of the Paris summit. … In a signal that the government intends to bring little if anything to the discussion, Australia will be represented not by Environment Minister Greg Hunt but by public servant Gordon de Brouwer.
On the domestic front, and perhaps the most damning indictment of the government’s environmental failures, it has been dithering for more than a year, [negotiating cuts to] the Renewable Energy Target. … investment in the large-scale renewable energy industry has been stifled by government-created uncertainty, slipping more than 90 per cent in the past 12 months, costing Australian jobs and livelihoods.
The Abbott government has shown itself to be out of step with most of the world’s developed countries on the issue of climate change and environmental action.
(Age Editorial 21 April 2015)
*** Climate Scorecard: A nation not even trying
It is no surprise that nations question Australia’s climate change inaction. The government seems determined to put our nation in the worst possible position. On current trends, here’s how our scorecard will look at the Paris negotiations in November: near zero investment in large-scale renewable energy over the past 12 months, a big jump in emissions from increased burning of coal, meeting the mere 5 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020 looking difficult, [continued massive exports of coal and LNG], and a “strategic” energy white paper that ignores climate change. With this scorecard, why should other nations treat us seriously at the negotiating table when we plead our “special circumstances” case? It will be patently obvious we haven’t been trying.
(Letter to The Age: 21 April 2015: Andrew S, North Adelaide, SA)