Minister Chris Bowen has a lot more work to do now that he’s touched down in Egypt, after a slow start to COP27 from Australia.
The Climate Council has released a half-time assessment of Australia’s performance at the climate conference. So what has Australia announced during the first week, and what’s left to tick off
Quotes from Australian and Pacific voices at COP27 in Egypt:
Nicki Hutley, Climate Councillor and leading Australian economist.
“Good climate policy is good economic policy. We know the costs of inaction are skyrocketing, and we know that making the most of Australia’s vast, untapped renewable energy potential is the path to Australia’s future economic prosperity, just as it is essential to protecting vulnerable communities in Australia, the Pacific and beyond.
“Governments have a critical role to play in unlocking the private investment needed to transform our energy system, and in ensuring there is adequate and accessible support for those bearing the brunt of climate change impacts. However, we also need strong, transparent action from the business sector. The record level of business participation at COP27 is a welcome sign that the sector is stepping up its role.
“We saw the US last week at COP27 announce a raft of new strategic initiatives, including a new commitment of international finance for climate change adaptation, new ways to use public finance to unlock billions in private investment, and ensuring major US Government suppliers are required to set Paris-aligned emissions reductions goals. These are good examples of some of the many practical steps the Australian Government can take to start shifting more money towards climate solutions.”
Jo Dodds, President of Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action, living in Bega, NSW, and attended COP26 in Glasgow last year.
“Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action warmly welcome that Australia has now signed on to some significant agreements on methane and forests in week one of COP27. We were also thrilled to see some true bi-partisanship from Australian politicians, Senator Pat Conroy, Minister for International Development and the Pacific and NSW Treasurer Matt Kean, who spoke with genuine respect for each other’s work on this problem.
“Australians who are still living in tents after losing everything to bushfires need to know that all leaders understand the climate crisis, and that they are prepared to drop their traditional animosities to focus on supporting communities that are suffering.
“Our homes are on the line. Our lives are at increasing risk. The window to slow climate damage narrows every day.
“Next week at COP the work will get harder. The Australian government needs to follow through and turn positive rhetoric into firm action by ending public financing of fossil fuels and transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy urgently.”
Joseph Sikulu, Pacific Regional Managing Director at 350.org.
“Climate change is the single greatest threat to Pacific peoples. We need far more urgent progress than what we have seen during this first week of COP27, and we need Australia to get serious about moving beyond coal and gas and addressing loss and damage from climate change.
“Communities from across the Pacific have come together and laid out our priorities in the Kioa Climate Emergency Declaration. If Australia is serious about being a good neighbour to the Pacific, and if it wants to co-host a future COP, then we urge the Australian Government to listen to Pacific voices, understand our reality, and support the actions needed to ensure our survival.
“Pacific communities are already facing permanent loss and damage from climate change. Rising seas are swallowing land and forcing communities from their ancestral homes. This must be the COP where governments establish a loss and damage finance facility and ensure that vulnerable communities can start accessing the support they need.”
Dr Simon Bradshaw, Climate Council Research Director who’s attended six previous COPs including COP26 last year in Glasgow.
“There are big expectations of Australia for week two of COP27. The Government has been telling the world it is back and ready to step up and lead. Now it’s time to back up those words with stronger actions.
“Ministers Bowen and McAllister cannot leave Egypt without making new commitments to accelerate Australia’s move beyond coal and gas, and to increase support for vulnerable communities in our region and beyond. The impacts of climate change are being measured in rising hunger and in people being forced from their land and homes. There is no more time to lose.
“At a bare minimum, the Government will need to join the US, UK, Germany, New Zealand and dozens of other countries in agreeing to end international public finance for fossil fuels, and will need to fully support the number one priority of Pacific Island countries at this COP – the establishment of a new facility to provide funding to communities facing loss and damage from climate change.”
For interviews please contact Bella Lamshed (Egypt) on +20 1060 580 596 or Brianna Hudson (Australia) on +61 455 238 875
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