CLIMATE COUNCIL experts have described Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen’s statement at COP27 as a ‘missed opportunity’ to make a more compelling case for Australia to co-host COP31.
Nicki Hutley, Climate Councillor and economist, who is in Egypt at COP27, said:
“While the Minister’s acknowledgement of the terrible costs of climate change and his commitment to keeping 1.5°C alive are welcome, these are just words.
“In his speech, the Minister has side-stepped the critical need to phase out Australia’s fossil fuels and step up its commitment to global climate finance. This is a missed opportunity and leaves several critical gaps in Australia’s climate policy armoury.
“There are three days left of COP27 and while some positive commitments have been made, it is not too late for Australia to do more. The Government really needs to ramp up its ambition to demonstrate to the world it is ready to be a leader on climate.”
Dr Simon Bradshaw, Climate Council Research Director, who’s attended seven COPs including COP27, said:
“The fact that the government has not yet supported the establishment of a new loss and damage finance facility – a key priority for the Pacific – has not gone unnoticed.
“The Australian Government is eager for Australians, Pacific Islanders and indeed the world to support its bid to host COP31, but needs to do more to move beyond coal and gas and to support vulnerable communities in coping with the impacts of climate change.
“Minister Bowen is right that we need reform of international financial systems in order to drive the world’s energy transformation, but there are many opportunities for Australia to lead on this front. Committing this week to end international finance for fossil fuels, by signing the Glasgow Statement, would be a good start.
“As revealed in this week’s Climate Change Performance Index, Australia still trails most other developed economies. In addition to refusing to start curbing coal and gas production, the Government is yet to provide anything close to a fair share of international climate finance – a fact that was called out by the European Union.”
The Climate Council has called for the Federal Government to commit to, at COP27:
- Increasing Australia’s overall commitment to international climate finance to $3 billion over 2020-2025, as a first step to contributing its fair share.
- Supporting a new global fund to address permanent loss and damage from climate change.
- Underscoring that its 43% emissions reduction target is a starting point.
- Joining the growing list of countries that have set a clear deadline for exiting coal, and immediately ending public finance for fossil fuels.
For interviews please contact Bella Lamshed (Egypt) on +20 1060 580 596 or Jane Gardner (Australia) on +61 438 130 905
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