Nothing under the kilt: PM presents climate con to the world at COP26

02.11.21 By

PRIME MINISTER Scott Morrison addressed world leaders at COP26 in Glasgow overnight in a speech that was light on commitments and credibility, but heavy on spin.

Chief Climate Councillor, Professor Tim Flannery who is on the ground in Glasgow: “First the PM tried to pull the wool over Australia’s eyes when he made a net zero by 2050 announcement without modelling, new funding or any new policy – and now he’s trying to do the same with the rest of the world.”

What the PM said at COP26…The facts…
Australia’s emissions have fallen by 20% since 2005.Three quarters of this reduction has been the result of changes in land management. When it comes to reducing emissions from electricity and moving beyond fossil fuels, Australia has made almost no progress.
REF: From Paris to Glasgow: A world on the move
We should be focussed on driving down emissions from the developing world.Australia’s first responsibility as a developed country is to reduce its own emissions. Moreover, many developing countries are taking more ambitious steps than Australia, even though they bear less historical responsibility for climate change and have far lower emissions per capita.
REF: State of Climate Ambition, UNDP
Australia is doubling its international climate finance, from the AU$1bn over five years pledged in Paris, to AU$2bn over 2020-2025.On an annual basis, this contribution represents only around 0.3% of the international goal of mobilising US$100bn/year. Independent assessments have placed Australia’s fair share of this goal at around 2-3%.
REF: From Paris to Glasgow: A world on the move

“Our PM stood up in front of the world and effectively promised to do nothing. If speaking spots at COP26 were determined by the strength and merit of each country’s commitments, then the PM would not have been given the mic,” said Professor Flannery, who has attended five previous COPs. 

Climate Council Head of Research, Dr Simon Bradshaw, who is also at the conference: “Australia is acting as a handbrake on global climate action. Government representatives have promised to spruik gas, a fossil fuel, at this climate conference and are resisting the push to phase out fossil fuels globally.”

“Australia is coming dead last in the most important race humanity has ever faced. Without a plan to cut emissions this decade or phase out coal and gas – net zero means absolutely nothing,” said Dr Bradshsaw, who has attended five previous COPs. 

Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie, who has attended 3 COP events including Paris: “Aussies front up and help others – like we did during the bushfires. Aussies keep each other honest – by calling out bullshit when we hear it. And Aussies have a proud history of standing beside our allies and fighting for what’s right. 

“If the PM wants to speak on behalf of Aussies then he must announce a strong 2030 emissions reduction target. This protects Australians, our way of life, and all humanity. We can provide more support for our vulnerable neighbours, and our country needs action now, to build solar and wind plants, phase out coal and slash our pollution.” 

The Climate Council recommends that Australia reduce its emissions by 75% (below 2005 levels) by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2035. This is based on rigorous scientific risk assessments.

For interviews please contact:

For Australia-based media: Brianna Hudson on 0455 238 875 or Hannah Izzard on 0475 247 754 or Annemarie Jonson on 0428 278 880 

For Glasgow-based media: Alex Soderlund on +61 429 664 572 

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.

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