Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will this week urge world leaders of wealthy nations to be more ambitious with their climate policy to help their poorer neighbours reduce emissions.
Albanese will address the council of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris on Thursday and his speech will not only let other countries know Australia plans to prioritise funding clean energy, but ask other rich countries to do the same.
“As a nation blessed with an abundance of the resources needed to make clean energy, Australia has an unmatched advantage to be a world leader in its production,” a draft copy of his speech read.
“We’ve got the natural resources, the workforce, the scientific ingenuity, the global networks and the industry expertise.
“Australia will always do our part … we will continue to engage with the international community to promote and protect our way of life.”
After nine years of Federal Governments that deliberately and systematically denied and fuelled climate change, it is a breath of fresh fkn air to hear a PM talk like this.
He’s saying the right words, now we wait for him to act.
He will tell the council that Australia will support partnerships with its southeast Asian and Pacific neighbours through its $1.5 billion existing climate finance commitment. But so far we have no new concrete promises or an actual plan for the region.
He will also say we’ll start to deliver a supply of critical minerals to the European Union in the wake of the supply shortage caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
But opinion polls show almost two thirds of Australians think we should be doing more to help our poorer neighbours reduce carbon emissions and tackle the effects of climate change.
We’re surrounded by low-lying island nations that simply don’t have the resources to deal with rising sea levels or extreme weather. Residents of these countries will be hit much sooner and harder by the effects of climate change than Australians.
Delivering climate funding to poorer nations is a big item on the agenda for this year’s UN climate summit scheduled for November in Egypt. But many wealthy nations including the US and members of the EU have already pushed back against these calls.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also accused governments of the world’s richest countries of “dragging their feet” on climate action ahead of the G7 leaders summit in Germany on June 26 to 28.
However Australia has been praised this month for formally pledging to raise its emissions reduction target to 43 per cent by 2030 compared with 2005 levels. This is up from the previous government’s 28 per cent target. Thank sweet fuck.
It’s a start, and strong language from the PM is very positive, but remember our targets still fall short of those set by the Paris Agreement, which scientists say is the absolute bare necessary minimum to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. This is frankly not good enough for a country with as much cash as Australia.