Saturday, July 4, 2009

Australia makes the climate news in Copenhagen

The Danish Government has an official website and blog for December's climate negotiations in Copenhagen (COP15). Australia features in a recent post, 'US Bill has an effect Down Under'. Here's the comment I posted in response:
The Australian Federal Opposition may well fold and end up voting for Australia's climate legislation when the Senate resumes in August. However, should a compromise be reached on the legislation and it is voted in, that will not mean Australia has a policy that will help lead us back to a safe climate with fewer severe bushfires and other climate change impacts we are already experiencing.

Nor will being guided by the US guarantee an effective outcome. Every government's position must be tested against the science, and international agreement reached that brings greenhouse gases much closer to pre-industrial levels. Science is the only true yardstick; not the relative merits of one scientifically inadequate position compared to another.

In Australia's case, we should be looking at 2020 cuts of at least 40% on 1990 levels, with the further aim of contributing to global stabilisation of carbon dioxide at around 300ppm as soon as possible.

As prominent US climate campaigner Bill McKibben has said, the earth's climate doesn't negotiate. In Copenhagen this December, the world needs to listen to the science and, hopefully with Australian leadership, work out a way to share the burden of effective action in a way that is fair for developed and developing nations.

Updates to the Copenhagen website can also be followed on Twitter and Facebook, or you can post your 'climate thoughts' on their spinning globe that shows climate views from around the world.

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