G’Day COP27: Australia’s global climate reset

04.11.22 By , , , and
This content is more than one year old

Australia will once again be in the spotlight at this year’s United Nations (UN) climate talks in Egypt. After almost a decade of stalled climate policy, the federal government has legislated a new emissions reduction target to cut emissions by 43% by 2030 (from 2005 levels). This brings Australia closer to the rest of the developed world, with most wealthy nations planning to at least halve their emissions by 2030. This policy reset has enabled Australia to start rebuilding relations with key security allies and trading partners, and strengthen ties with Pacific island neighbours.

For too long, successive governments have argued that Australia cannot make a difference in global efforts to tackle the climate crisis. The truth is, as a fossil fuel heavyweight and potential renewables superpower, we have a big role to play in the global energy transition. The UN climate summit in Egypt (known as COP27) is the federal government’s opportunity not only to demonstrate that Australia is back at the negotiating table, but that we’re willing and able to play a serious role in rolling out the solutions we need at the scale and pace that the science demands.

Australian diplomacy matters. For the first time, Australia will formally bid to host the UN climate talks in partnership with the Pacific. With a responsible international climate agenda, Australia could play a critical role in reinforcing global cooperation and brokering the next phase of climate action. Our country will also play a key role in the export of clean energy commodities and critical minerals that other nations need to decarbonise their economies. In Egypt we can signal to the world that Australia intends to become a major renewable energy exporter.

This climate summit will occur against the backdrop of a deepening climate crisis. Already in 2022, we have witnessed weather records tumble across every single continent. Climate change is worsening extreme weather events that are devastating communities everywhere, from Lismore to Lahore. The impacts we are experiencing today are happening in a world that has warmed 1.2°C above the pre-industrial average, driven mainly by the burning of coal, oil and gas.

a year of never ending extremes

1. The year since the last United Nations climate talks has been one of continuous climate extremes with records tumbling from Lismore to Lahore.

2. As we enter the age of climate consequences, decisive action on climate change, and greater international collaboration, has never been more important.

3. The global race to net zero is redefining international relations, sparking a clean energy arms race between the US and China and accelerating Europe’s shift away from fossil fuels.

Restoring our international climate reputation, and righting past wrongs, is clearly in our national interests.

COP27 Report Cover