Australia’s dismal climate record arrives under COP26 spotlight

COP26

Announcement by Scott

Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, declared that his country would set a goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Days before coming in Glasgow, Scotland, for what was expected to be a critical meeting on global climate policies.

However, he noted that he would not enact legislation to achieve the target, instead of relying on people and businesses to drive carbon reductions.

Climate campaigners were concerned that such a half-measure will be carried over to the COP26 meeting, the recent United Nations climate negotiations in Glasgow. It did, according to them.

“For COP26, Australia’s goal was to get away with it. “To do as little as possible,” said Richie Merzian, who worked for the Australian government as a COP negotiator for a decade. Due to its extensive areas of dry and desolate terrain, Australia is affectionately known as a sunburned country. Australia has long been chastised for being one of the world’s top coal and gas producers. They escaped being dubbed the summit’s villain by a hair’s breadth.

While the country remains a crucial ally of the United States despite tensions with China, it has done little in recent years to indicate that it will be a prominent player in the battle against climate change. Despite its pride in its plentiful native animals and countless natural gems, this is the case. Its activities at the climate conference did little to calm environmentalists’ fears.

Critics argue that Australia’s net-zero pledge was a hollow promise and that the country’s attendance at the global summit merely served to demonstrate that the present conservative administration is more committed to fossil fuel interests than to addressing climate change in a meaningful way.

Australia’s Criticism

Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter was likewise harsh in his assessment of Australia’s performance at the climate summit.

“Under our Plan to attain net-zero emissions by 2050, we will take practical, responsible steps to cut emissions and expand on our track record of success — decreasing emissions while growing our economy, maintaining affordable, reliable energy, and ensuring the strength of our regions.” “That’s how we do things in Australia,” Taylor explained.

Climate change has made its way into Australian politics, caught between the powerful fossil fuel sector and a series of natural calamities.

Mining has been a key driver of Australia’s economy since the country was a British colony in the early 1800s, but coal production really took off after WWII, and the industry is now a big employer in many rural regions.

His coalition partner, the National Party, is a major supporter of the coal sector and has attempted to thwart the net-zero aim on many occasions, citing potential economic dangers.

Morrison is an outspoken supporter of the sector. In 2017, he famously took a piece of coal into the Australian Parliament and extolled its value during a debate on renewable energy with a showman’s flair.

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