Analysis Claims That Australia’s Climate Policies Are Not Matching Its Big Talk at COP27

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Australia has been vocal about tackling climate change, but current policies still must live up to the rhetoric.

At COP27, Australia was seen as a laggard in taking meaningful action on climate change. The Australian government’s lack of ambition is at odds with the urgent need for global cooperation.

Nicki Hutley, the economics spokesperson for the Climate Council, an independent Australian nonprofit, said, “Australia has shown up with the face that says we are the renewable energy superpower; we’re getting into clean energy and clean manufacturing.”

Hutley added, “But if you turn to see the other side of the face, it’s all about the fossil fuel development and the government’s addiction to fossil fuel royalties and revenues.”

The country’s current policy settings give little incentive for businesses to reduce emissions and invest in clean energy solutions. This makes it difficult for Australia to meet its commitments and those set by international agreements.

This loophole means that Australia’s emissions reduction targets are weaker than they appear. Recent analysis shows that Australia’s emissions will increase by 2020, even with the current policy settings.

The Australian government still needs to sign a clean energy transition agreement at COP27 that calls for an end to all new direct public support for the international fossil-fuel energy sector by year’s end.

“Effectively, we are still pouring fossil fuels out to the atmosphere, and Australia conveniently doesn’t count our scope three emissions,” Hutley said.

“There’s a moral imperative for Australia to act on climate change. And we’ll be engaging very strongly and continue to engage in all those reforms,” Hutley said in an interview.

This lack of ambition is profoundly concerning, especially in light of the increasingly dire warnings about the consequences of climate change. The Australian government must take meaningful action to reduce emissions and support businesses investing in clean energy solutions.

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