The Australian has seen part of the document and it declares that, while Australia will remain “a good international citizen” and remains “committed to achieving the 5 per cent reduction” by 2020 of the 2000 levels of emissions, it will not sign up to any new agreement that involves spending money or levying taxes. - The Australian
The government’s document also says that Australia “will not support any measures which are socialism masquerading as environmentalism”.
The document’s commitment that the government “will review its commitment in 2015 in light of the science and international developments” deliberately allows a range of policy outcomes.
In the unlikely event that all major economies move in a concerted way, Australia could join in. However, the language provides that if the science becomes more unclear, and if nations move away from their earlier enthusiasm for action, then Australia also could wind back its efforts.
The timing of the Warsaw conference on climate change is difficult for the government. It has decided that neither Environment Minister Greg Hunt nor Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will attend.
The Abbott government does not expect any significant progress to occur at the Poland meeting.
Ms Bishop will be at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting while part of the conference is on, and then at the annual AUSMIN talks as the Warsaw conference draws to a conclusion.
The government regards AUSMIN, the annual foreign and defence ministers’ meeting between Australia and the US, as vastly more important.
Mr Hunt will be in parliament supervising the introduction of the legislation to repeal the carbon tax while the Warsaw conference is on. However, the government would most likely not have sent a minister in any circumstances as it does not believe the meeting will be of great significance.
Mr Abbott has been strongly critical of agreements in which Australian funds are used to buy permits that are meant to fund cuts to greenhouse gas reductions in other countries – a key mechanism in the global talks.
The Coalition based its criticism of Labor policy on official forecasts showing Australian emissions would rise over time and that the 5 per cent target was only reached by purchasing overseas permits at an eventual cost of $150bn a year in 2050.
“This is by far the biggest wealth transfer from Australians to foreigners that’s ever been contemplated,” Mr Abbott said of purchasing offshore carbon permits.
Read the full story at - The Australian
Remember all those polls about how Australians want Climate Action?
Newspoll has the current government at 55% to Labor’s 45%.
UN logo image from ElectionNow Blog