The Australian federal government, led by the PM, Tony Abbott, has committed itself to the global accord on climate. The US government is expected to follow in pursuit, by next week. The accord is to be signed in Paris, in December this year. The accord plans to target limiting the carbon emissions of each country, with effect from 2020.

After signing the accord, the Australian PM had this to say: “A strong and effective global agreement that addresses carbon leakage and delivers environmental benefit, is in Australia’s national interest” (as quoted by Sydney Morning Herald) . The move came after environmentalists expressed their concerns that the Abbott administration might not accept further cuts in carbon emissions.

Australian Federal Government commits to Global Accord on climate but how committed can Australia afford to be

It is to be kept in mind that Australia is amongst those countries that is most effected by global warming. The Australian outback has to deal with frequent forest fires, as a result of hot climate. Reduction in carbon emissions, although small, is a step towards a better Australia. The environmentalists will still have to keep their fingers crossed, since Australia is yet to announce its post 2020 targets by mid-year.

Some good can be expected in this commitment, since the official paper released by the PM’s office states: “Australian Government will set its post-2020 emissions reduction target within the framework set by the UN”. Even though the accord expects almost equal contribution from all the countries, the Australian government is expected to push for special treatment.

There is no doubt that the Australian structure of government, population growth and economic policies are different, but the country will be doing itself a favor more than on any other country of the world.

Limiting the accepted amount of carbon emissions is expected to affect the country’s energy sector the most, since about 60% of Australia’s power comes from coal power plants. These cuts would be unacceptable while Australia sets on to become one of the biggest suppliers of raw materials and energy to the rest of the world. However, the government has asked for public opinion and it is yet to be seen what the people think is right for the country.

One Response

  1. Michael Rynn

    Problems include the current Australia government attitude on renewable energy target scheme (RET), carbon emissions, and giveaways support for coal industry, called ‘direct action’. Committing to something without a target does not signify much, except that external political pressure makes a need to appear to be doing something. There is a distinct lack of “internal pressure” among the ruling Liberal-National Party. The global 2 degrees of warming target would be still viable, except for a lot of rich people in rich nations who do not want to force reductions in energy consumption. This could be called the ‘special pleading of the rich’ and Australia has lots of it.


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