Written by 6:00 pm EU Investment

Australia not paying its ‘fair share’, EU climate chief says

The data, which claimed Australia had fallen $2.6 billion short of what it should contribute, compared the share of international climate finance provided by rich countries with their share of carbon emissions to date, a measure of their responsibility for the climate crisis.

Pat Conroy, federal Minister for International Development and the Pacific, rejected the analysis because he said it was whether it included “record levels of climate finance the new government has committed”, including in the recent budget.

“What we intend on doing through the COP is driving momentum on implementation of the Glasgow Treaty. Importantly, that includes adaptation. It also includes climate financing, including loss and damage, looking at progressing that where it’s appropriate,” he said.

As countries gather in Sharm el-Sheikh for the COP27 UN climate talks, the backdrop of rising emissions highlights the widening gap between the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement and what is happening in the real world.

Global carbon dioxide emissions will hit a record high this year despite a drop in China’s emissions as the world increased its coal use and economic activity continued to pick up post-coronavirus. Carbon dioxide emissions from energy will rise 1 per cent to reach 37.5bn tonnes in 2022 — with the biggest increases coming from India and the US.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on developed nations such as Australia to phase out coal and other fossil fuels in the next seven years. Last week he also called for a “global surge” in adaptation investment to “save millions of lives from climate carnage”.

Timmermans said the US, which has been locked in congressional gridlock over much of its funding, needed to increase its share. But he said US climate envoy John Kerry was right to call for increased private sector funding.

“Yes, the Americans can be doing more public finance, but at the same time, if there is if there is one part of the world where the unleashing of private finance might work faster than anywhere else, it is also the US,” he said.

He said the world must keep fighting for action to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees, the aim of the Paris Accord. “It’s going to be bloody hard, but every digit is important,” he said.

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