Australia Fiji calls on Australia to 'walk the talk' by adopting more ambitious emissions targets

06:38  11 august  2021
06:38  11 august  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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Fiji ’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has demanded Australia do more to combat climate change during the Global Smart Energy Summit, highlighting that the survival of small developing nations depends on the leadership of high-carbon emitters. At Wednesday’s virtual summit, Bainimarama said that During a passionate speech, Bainimarama called on Australia and other countries like China, India and the United States to adopt clearer zero- emissions targets . By doing so, Bainimarama said it would be easier for the world to keep the countries accountable. "Let me be clear, when we talk about

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The Fijian government says it hopes "everybody can get on board" with a low carbon future, as pressure mounts on Australia to adopt stronger climate action in the wake of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

Fiji's Attorney General and Minister responsible for climate change, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, told RN the IPCC report had again highlighted the "existential threat" posed by rising sea levels to island nations in the Pacific, Caribbean and Indian Ocean.

"Seventy per cent of our populations live within 5 kilometres of the shoreline … the reality is, [the report] is an alarm clock, but it's not a surprising alarm clock," he said.

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AUSTRALIA ’S CONSERVATIVE PRIME minister has rejected growing calls to adopt more ambitious emissions targets , insisting the country was doing enough to tackle climate change. Hours after a landmark UN climate report warned catastrophic global warming is occurring far more quickly than previously forecast But ahead of a major climate summit in Glasgow in November, Morrison has rejected calls — including from allies such as the United States — to adopt a formal target for reducing or offsetting carbon emissions . Australia has suggested it will achieve net-zero carbon emissions

"This simply reinforces the realities. Going to Glasgow in about 80 days or so, we have to ensure that the undertakings given under the Paris Agreement are actually practically met and fulfilled.

"Countries like ours that are very low carbon footprint, if we can walk the talk, then hopefully Australia can walk the talk too.

"Hopefully a lot of countries can be, you know, shamed into adopting new technologies.

"Adopting, for example, a carbon neutral position by 2050."

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was responding to the latest IPCC report, released this week, which UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres called a "code red for humanity".

The report projected global warming is likely to increase by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030, which would cause an increase in the severity of natural disasters like bushfires, floods, droughts and storms.

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The 45% emissions reduction target was first adopted by Shorten’s opposition in 2015 and was Labor’s policy at both the 2016 and 2019 federal election, which Labor lost despite a record number of Australians nominating global warming or the environment as their top concern. On Sunday, Albanese backed Butler’s position by saying Labor’s policy would be “very strong” and “as ambitious as possible”. Albanese said Scott Morrison was correct that Australia “needs the whole world to act” on climate change, but Australia was “not only [not] doing anything domestically, but on the world stage

Australia 's conservative prime minister rejected growing calls Tuesday to adopt more ambitious emissions targets , insisting the country was doing enough to tackle climate change. Hours after a landmark UN climate report warned catastrophic global warming is occurring far more quickly than Australia is at the forefront of the global climate crisis, as one of the world's largest fossil fuel exporters and the victim of multiple climate-worsened disasters. In recent years, the country has suffered intense droughts, the largest bushfires in its recorded history, floods and coastal erosion among other disasters.

'Technology not taxes', says Morrison as Biden lauded by Pacific nations

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said yesterday he has been "very mindful" of and "listened to carefully" Pacific Island nations' consistent advocacy on climate change.

"[Climate change is] a serious challenge, not just for Australia and advanced countries around the world, but all countries around the world," he said.

But the federal government has defended its policies in response to the IPCC report, with Mr Morrison asserting there would be "no blank cheque" from Australia on emissions targets.

"Our approach is technology and not taxes to solving this problem," Mr Morrison said.

Mr Morrison's comments stand in contrast to administration of US President Joe Biden, which has been lauded by Pacific Island nations over commitments to significantly reduce carbon emissions in the coming decades.

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Mr Biden was invited by Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama to address the Pacific Islands Forum on its 50th anniversary earlier this month.

"The Pacific Island nations know better than anyone that averting the worst effects of climate change is going to save lives," Mr Biden said at the forum.

"The United States is committed to dramatically reducing our emissions by 2030 and building resilience in vulnerable communities globally."

Mr Bainimarama said Mr Biden made history by being the first US president to attend the forum, and for bringing "America forcefully back to the right side of climate history".

Mr Biden has pledged to reduce the United States' carbon emissions by at least half of 2005 levels by 2030.

"Fiji and the USA's net-zero commitments by 2050 must become the entire world's — zero excuses," Mr Bainimarama said.

"Together, as a united Pacific, we look to securing a historic outcome in Glasgow at COP26 which brings the 1.5-degree Celsius target within reach."

The Fiji government's comments add to pressure on the Australian government over climate change.

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The British government withdrew Mr Morrison's invitation to speak at the UK's global climate leaders summit in December 2020 because Australia had not set ambitious-enough carbon emissions reductions targets.

In April this year, the Climate Council called upon Australia to aim for net zero carbon emissions by 2035, warning that Australia could face trade penalties for failing to match climate targets by the US and EU.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, meanwhile, said Fiji was continuing to deal with a "double whammy" of natural disasters and the economic fallout of COVID-19.

Fiji has among the highest per capita coronavirus infections in the world.

'We've had three cyclones in the past number of months … we've had about 16 since 2016," he said.

"We've had to deal with the pandemic while we've got cyclones going on at the same time."

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