Australia is becoming increasingly isolated from the rest of the world with its obstinate approach to the climate crisis. Leaders like US climate envoy John Kerry and COP26 President Alok Sharma have been focused recently on the climate challenge of China — but it’s Australia that’s emerging as the real pariah of the COP26 talks.
Of all the developed countries, Australia has the poorest standing on climate. It’s clear that Australia will just be absent, basically, from the talks,” Bas Eickhout, a Dutch member of the European Parliament, told CNN.”
They were quite happy with the role the United States played until last year, and now of course they seem to be the last-man standing from the Western countries to block progress,” he said, referring to the US’ absence in global climate efforts during the Trump years.
Australia is shaping up to be the villain of COP26 climate talks – Angela Dewan, International Climate Editor, CNN, 13 Sept. 2021
It appears that lobbying fossil fuel companies have hijacked climate policy from the Australian people. Most Australians support more climate action from the government, according to a poll by the Lowy Institute in May. The poll found that 78% of Australians would support a net zero emissions target for 2050. Around the same number support the government subsidizing electric vehicles. And 63% support a ban on new coal mines opening in Australia. Yet of the world’s 176 new coal projects, 79 of them are in Australia, according to Fitch Solutions’ Global Mines Database.
Lucy Manne, the CEO of 350.org, which is an international organization with an Australian presence, accused the Morrison government of deliberately slowing down climate progress.
“This is extremely frustrating, and the government will only see the movement calling for action grow,” she said.”
The Morrison government risks Australia becoming not just a pariah state on the world stage, but also our economy falling behind. Australia has the potential to become a clean energy superpower and exporter, and the Australian public wants us to be a leader, not a laggard.“Angela Dewan, 13 Sept. 2021. Australia is shaping up to be the villain of COP26 climate talks. CNN World.