The government recently authorized the construction of a controversial new coal mine – which could be the world`s largest and would export coal to India. However, the Australian government maintains that it is on track to meet its 2030 commitments. “Our climate environment must meet and exceed emissions reduction targets,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius (summary for policy makers) “Australia is largely on fire because of climate change and I don`t understand why the Australian government is looking for ways to weaken the Paris agreement so that it and others can do less to solve the climate crisis,” Tong said. The Paris Agreement also provides, for the first time in an international climate agreement, that we must “strive” to limit the temperature increase to 1.5oC (Article 2). In Paris, the IPCC was invited to present a new special report (known as SR1.5) in 2018 on the effects of global warming of 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels. In addition, the parties are working to improve global greenhouse gas emissions “as soon as possible” (Article 4). The climate conference and debate on the text, including the ban on transfer credits, are due to end on Friday. On Wednesday night in Australia, it was not clear whether an agreement would be reached. In contrast, an alliance of economic, industrial and environmental leaders issued a statement calling on the government to adopt a zero net emissions target by 2050.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended his government`s position on climate change as the country faces devastating fires and a historic heat wave. It says Australia`s attempt to minimize emissions over the next decade was contrary to the objectives and principles of the Paris Agreement and forced countries to take escalating measures reflecting their “highest possible ambitions.” The government`s “technologically neutral” approach has strengthened support for the fossil fuel industry. Published in May 2020, the roadmap on technology investments supports natural gas technology and CO2 capture and storage (CCS) technology, without excluding support for coal and nuclear energy. In another step backwards, the government has proposed changing the scope of the two government organizations that facilitate research and the flow of financial resources in the renewable energy sector (Cefc), the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation , CEFC), with a view to a more technologically neutral mandate, including carbon capture and storage. The government has spent AUR 233 million on the National Low Emissions Coal Initiative and allocated AUD 1 billion to the CCS flagships program (due 2020), but there is no CCS in the energy sector. In Australia, only one CCS project is in operation to identify the natural gas CO2 reservoir for LNG production. This facility, Chevron`s gorgon-gas-CSC project, has experienced delays in commissioning and has lower carbon levels than agreed in the contract and is currently disconnected due to serious structural problems. Coal abandonment is seen as crucial to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but the Australian government continues to support the industry in its role in the economy. The Convention on Climate Change was first adopted in 1992 following growing global concerns about climate change, including the publication of the first assessment report of the 1990 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The convention establishes a framework for stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to prevent “dangerous anthropogenic damage to the climate system.”