Coalition policy needs to help, not hinder, global solutions Media Release

Dec 12, 2012 - 1:21pm

The Climate Institute today urged the Coalition to ensure its climate policy helps and doesn’t hinder global climate solutions, following comments by Coalition spokesperson Greg Hunt this morning.

“The Climate Institute acknowledges the Coalition’s reiteration of their support for the full 5-25 per cent emission reduction target range,” John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute said today. 

“The Coalition’s review of its targets and policy in 2015 is, however, out of whack with global processes and should be brought forward to 2014."  

“In 2014 there will be reviews of climate ambition including a key report required from Australia on its ambitions in April and a world leader summit hosted by the UN Secretary-General later that year. Australia needs the flexibility to increase its emission reduction efforts in 2014 not 2015.” 

He added: “More worrying is the destructive impact to the chances of a global agreement that could flow from the Coalition’s apparent hostile or misinformed approach to what is called climate financing.” 

“Climate finance to help the world’s poorest and vulnerable nations cope with an increasing hostile climate and to help them reduce emissions from fossil fuel use and deforestation is pivotal in progress towards a global climate agreement covering all major emitters.” 

“Backsliding on financing commitments would severely damage the prospects of an ambitious global agreement in 2015 and increase the physical and economics costs of climate change.” 

In the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, Australia and other industrialised countries agreed to contribute, through public and private sources, towards $100 billion in climate finance. This was incorporated into the UN process in Cancun in 2010 and in 2011 in Durban it was agreed to establish the Green Climate Fund which is co-chaired by Australia. 

There are also a number of points that need to be corrected in recent commentary on climate finance: 
  • There is no blank cheque and Australia is in a leadership position: Not all public and private money will go through the Green Climate Fund. Nation states agree their own contribution to public financing and the Green Climate Fund is establishing robust governance structures to ensure effective and transparent financing. Australia is the current co-chair of the Fund and without these robust structures nations and businesses will not contribute.
  • Financing is not all public money: All public money will need to be scaled up but this is only one component of climate finance. Private finance is also a key component and this may include new and innovative sources of finance such as levies on international shipping and aviation. Indeed, ANU estimates that financing from carbon pricing could be a significant contributor form Australia. '
“We have been critical of the government in not detailing its position on how Australia will be making this contribution but the Doha agreements include a timeline for more details on this aspect in 2013,” said Connor.

“We urge the Coalition to reconsider its position on climate finance and on review timelines or it will be clearly risking the chances of obtaining what it says it wants, a global emissions reduction agreement covering all major emitters.” 

For more information 

Kristina Stefanova, Communications Director, The Climate Institute, 02 8239 6299

Erwin Jackson, Deputy CEO, The Climate Institute, 02 8239 6299

For more information
Kristina Stefanova | Communications Director, The Climate Institute |  02 8239 6299

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