NOOSA – It seems the Australian federal government has finally agreed to set zero carbon emissions by 2050 as the nation’s climate goal.
This is the result of eight years of lethargy and two weeks of frenzy after which the Liberal Party bribed (with taxpayers’ money) its junior coalition partner, the National Party, to gain acceptance for a meaningless outcome.
It is meaningless because next week’s Glasgow climate conference prime minister Morrison reluctantly decided to attend is not going to focus on what might happen in 2050 but on how the world can halve emissions by 2030 if it is to avoid a climate crisis.
Australia is totally unprepared to participate meaningfully in this conference.
“Morrison’s excuse for ducking an ambitious target for 2030 is that Labor took a 45% emissions cut by 2030 to the last election and lost,” wrote former head of the prime minister’s department Michael Keating in Pearls & Irritations today.
“He implies that adopting a similar carbon-reduction target would be a betrayal of the election mandate. But what a pathetic excuse.”
Meanwhile, Australia’s foreign affairs department has allowed its mission in Papua New Guinea to kick in funds to get PNG’s delegation to the climate conference.
“Australia is proud to provide travel support for PNG’s negotiating team to the upcoming UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) COP26 in Glasgow,” tweeted high commissioner Jon Philp on Saturday.
“Last night, I hosted a reception with UK High Commissioner Keith Scott for senior PNG delegation members attending, including climate change minister Wera Mori MP,” he continued.
Alongside was a photo of the happy group, which also included Governors Gary Juffa and Powes Parkop and some other gentlemen I didn’t recognise.
I was delighted to see the sterling figure of Governor Juffa on his way to Glasgow and tweeted a response to Mr Philp which to my surprise has achieved a reach of 8,000 people:
“Good to see Juffa on the PNG team, that will stiffen it up. And Wera is a man of great experience.”
But given my own country’s lamentable performance in dealing with an issue which requires all humanity on deck to deal with it, I had to add: “The ill-equipped Australian delegation has nothing to offer and is set to embarrass us much. The Pacific islands need real action not fakery.”
I realised this remark had been thoroughly in order when I observed Mr Philp tweet on Sunday, “Improving our understanding of climate science through collaborative research is essential.
"The National Environmental Science Program is a long-term commitment to environment and climate research to support decision makers.”
Some $38 million (K100 million) of this will go to CSIRO “to advance the understanding of Australia’s climate, its extremes and associated drivers, including the fundamental drivers of rainfall, drought and bushfires….”
Hardly 'fundamental drivers of climate change', I would note, which made the accompanying logo (at right) for the program more than a little misleading.
I do hope that, when in Glasgow, the fearless Governor Juffa makes a point of biting the hand that bought his ticket.
Governor Parkop can also be quite a handful when he sets his mind to dealing with hypocrisy.