There has been a growing consensus that certain countries are very much lagging behind in climate change action. During the United Nations climate negotiations, two countries are being singled out away from the official discussions – Canada and Australia.
It is being reported even by Australia’s own representative at the symposium – Professor Peter Doherty who will be a party to the memorandum detailing the suggested recommendations. Doherty reported that Australia is emerging as public enemies amongst the countries represented – not a great result for two countries who were thought to be powerful advocates for reducing carbon emissions. Many think that these countries are out of step with the rest of the planet in making a real effort to combat climate change.
The Climate Change Authority (CCA) recommended that Australia increase it’s commitment to cut 2000 level emissions by 2020 from 5% to 19%. Although it’s the biggest cut of any developed country, it represents just how far Australia has fallen behind other countries.
It is ironic that Australia is lagging so far behind, because it has in reality more to lose. Australia is subject to extreme weather conditions and a rise in temperature could cause devastation throughout large parts of the country. It is essential that it take climate change more seriously and makes the tough choices needed to combat the threat. If you check out the local media online, which you can do using an Australian proxy, then you’ll rarely see the sort of coverage that climate change get’s in other countries.
It is essential that Australia improve and quickly, it does have the potential to seriously reduce it’s emissions by harnessing energy efficiency electrical systems instead of relying so heavily on the use of fossil fuels as it does now. Although Australia has large amounts of mineral reserves, scientists suggest that 75% of known fossil fuel reserves should stay in the ground.
Professor Doherty suggests that Europe has begun to take climate change more seriously as a direct result of many catastrophic weather events that have occurred over the years. He also suggests that there are much better links in Europe between policy makers and the scientists advising them than is in the case in Canada and Australia.