Australia ‘greenwashing’ climate record with COP31 bid: report


Australia has been accused of making an attempt to “greenwash” its local weather document by searching for to co-host a global summit with Pacific states regardless of “a long time of inaction”.

Left-wing suppose tank the Australia Institute will at this time concern a report criticising the Albanese authorities for its bid to host the 2026 United Nations Convention of the Events, also referred to as COP31. 

“Australia has stated co-hosting the COP will restore its repute. A greater place to start out can be to cease subsidising and approving new fuel and coal initiatives,” Australia Institute local weather and vitality program director Polly Hemming stated. 

“Awarding Australia COP internet hosting rights in anticipation of it altering its methods can be at finest a case of placing the cart earlier than the horse, and at worst a case of rewarding a rustic for many years of recalcitrance.”

Within the report, titled “A good COP31”, the suppose tank says the bid to host the convention can be a “constructive improvement” as a result of it will invite “worldwide scrutiny of Australia’s local weather ambition”.

It could additionally current the nation’s Pacific neighbours “with a possibility to demand that Australia withstand its duties as a significant per-capita emitter of greenhouse gases and the world’s third largest exporter of fuel and coal”, the report says.

Crikey despatched the report back to Local weather Change Minister Chris Bowen’s workplace on Thursday afternoon, asking for remark, however a spokesperson declined on Friday morning to concern any assertion. 

The report notes the governments of Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Tonga, Fiji, Niue and the Solomon Islands have issued a joint decision calling for pressing actions to deal with local weather change. 

“It shouldn’t be incumbent on Australia’s Pacific neighbours … to pressure Australia into appearing like a accountable world citizen,” the report says.

“Nonetheless, the urgency and scale of the existential menace local weather change poses to Pacific nations imply they might have little selection than to leverage alternatives like COP31 to safe extra local weather motion from Australia.”

When Bowen introduced Australia’s intention to bid for the internet hosting rights, he stated: “It’s a possibility to work intently with our Pacific household, and we are going to search to co-host the bid with the Pacific to assist elevate the case of the Pacific for extra local weather motion.”

The Australia Institute has beforehand been supportive of plans for Australia to host a COP summit. 

“Labor’s indication that it’s going to bid to co-host a future UN local weather convention stands in stark distinction with the present authorities’s efficiency at [COP26 in] Glasgow, the place the target was to do as little as doable”, Richie Merzian, Hemming’s predecessor as local weather and vitality program director, stated in 2021.

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