Proposed Global Warming Target Backed By 108 Nations? Australia Says No

ICYMI, the vitally-important 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference – or COP 21 – is currently underway in Paris.

The conference will – by the time it concludes – establish a global, legally binding framework for climate change action that all UN member nations will be a party to, and will be bound by.
Australia, for those of you with the means to dig up mental scars, became the first nation in the world to actually repeal legislation aimed at reducing our overall carbon output, when the then-Abbott Government successfully binned the Carbon Tax – which was the subject of a wide-reaching scare campaign launched by the Liberal Party and the mining and heavy industrial industries, despite the fact that studies have since shown that it was kinda, sorta, actually working, and that ordinary Australians were actually minutely better off thanks to associated Government offsets.
Since then, in the eyes of the global community, Australia has been viewed as something of a climate change dinosaur.
The conference represents a vital opportunity for Australia, and yet the country – led now by the Turnbull Government – is digging its heels in.
108 nations have backed a proposal that would see action undertaken to ensure global warming is restricted to a 1.5 degree increase in global average temperatures.
Australia, however, has refused to get on board. At least in the proposal’s current manifestation.
The initial push was made by some of the world’s most vulnerable nations – including the Pacific Islands, who stand to be the first, and hardest, hit by the speculated effects of global warming; effects which are already being felt in some of the nations, such as Tuvalu.
However, despite major country backing from nations such as France and Germany, Australia has refused to get on board. Instead, we’ve displayed a preference for a UN-lead review into climate change science, that would include an aspirational temperature increase cap of 1.5 degrees with no specific timeframe for its achievement.
Australia is also pushing for a change in the way carbon reduction credits are calculated. This is being done to protect the so-called “Australia Clause” which was included in the Kyoto Protocol – essentially, an accounting loophole that allows Australia to continue, and even up, its usage of coal-burning electricity whilst technically complying with the green restrictions.
Other smaller countries who have also been a beneficiary of this loophole have indicated a willingness to give it up. But Australia says no.

A global, legally-binding deal will be struck no matter what come the end of this conference. But what form it takes remains to be seen.

And for the time being, Australia remains in the familiar position we’ve been in for a good few years now – standing on the outside, bullishly refusing to look in.
Photo: Pool/Getty Images.
Source: SBS News.