Australia won't pay to climate fund

AP Interview: Australia won't pay to climate fund
In this Sept. 19, 2014 file photo, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop addresses a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Iraq at the United Nations headquarters. Australia will continue to directly pay for climate change adaptation in vulnerable South Pacific island nations through its aid budget rather than donate to a U.N. Green Climate Fund designed for the same purpose, Bishop said Friday, Dec. 5, ahead of climate talks in Peru. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
(AP)—Australia will continue to directly pay for climate change adaptation in vulnerable South Pacific island nations through its aid budget rather than donate to a U.N. Green Climate Fund designed for the same purpose, the foreign minister said Friday ahead of traveling to climate talks in Peru.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said governments should judge for themselves whether bilateral action to reduce the impact of on was a more efficient use of aid money than donating through the U.N.

"The Green Climate Fund is about supporting developing countries build resilience to climate change. Australia is already doing that through our aid program," Bishop told The Associated Press before leading the Australian delegation to Lima for a U.N climate summit.

"From my experience, bilateral work is able to customize responses when we're working directly with another partner country," she said.

Rich countries have pledged about $10 billion to the recently launched Green Climate Fund, which is meant to become a key source of finance to help developing countries deal with rising seas, higher temperatures and extreme weather events.

Australia has been accused of setting a poor example for other countries by failing to contribute to the fund. Bishop's government has also been criticized for abolishing Australia's carbon tax that was levied on the country's worst greenhouse gas polluters until July.

It replaced the tax with a 2.55 billion Australian dollars ($2.14 billion) government fund to pay polluters incentives to operate more cleanly.

Bishop said Australia was on track to achieve its target of reducing its to 12 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

But she said the Australian delegation would not give the Lima meeting any proposed Australian emission-cutting targets beyond 2020.

"The message that I will be presenting on Australia's behalf is that the new agreement should establish a common playing field for all countries to take climate action from 2020 and seek commitments from all the major economies to reducing emissions," she said.

Delegates from more than 190 countries are in Lima trying to lay the groundwork for a global emissions pact they hope will be adopted in Paris next year.

Bishop said that without legally binding commitments in Paris to reduce global emissions beyond 2020, any agreement would amount to nothing more than aspirations.

She said Australia wants to see the details of a U.S.-China emissions deal that was struck last month.

"China has already said that it will continue business as usual until 2030. We want to know whether there's some sort of binding commitment," Bishop said.

Chinese delegate Su Wei said China would present a detailed pledge sometime in the first half of next year, and criticized Australia for not contributing to the climate fund.

"It's not good news that Australia, if it's true, refuses to provide any money into the GCF," he said. "I think that's a legal obligation for all developed country parties to make their contributions."

New targets for fossil fuel use were announced ahead of the climate conference by the European Union, U.S. and China, the first Asian nation to make such a pledge. This has injected optimism into negotiations that are supposed to climax in Paris with the adoption of a long-awaited pact.

But Australia, India, Russia and Japan have yet to commit to new limits. Scientists say much sharper emissions cuts are needed in coming decades to keep global warming within 2 degrees C (3.6 F) of pre-industrial times, the overall goal of the U.N. talks.


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Dec 05, 2014
Selfishness overrides decency once again.

Dec 05, 2014
Sorry to be so short in the previous post , but we have apparently not learned to trust science more than politicians.

We can live with a slowdown in the economy, but cannot survive without a healthy environment to make our Oxygen, clean our water, and provide us with food, . . . as I have repeatedly posted.

Dec 05, 2014
Australia is just doing the smart thing, they're not lining the pockets of Dictators and Elitists who talk the talk but pocket the money.

The fact that O'Bummer has pledged our hard earned tax dollars to the UN should be enough to convince even the most naive that it is a bogus scheme at best.

Dec 05, 2014
Contributing to this fund assumes that you trust the UN to do the right thing with the money provide and many people do not trust the UN.

While the UN does do some good, it is too often shown to be a sad joke and completely fails to act on important issues. If countries want to deal directly with the proposed recipients of the fund instead that is their right.

Attacking countries over one aspect of climate change is only going to make them defensive and more resistant to cooperating on other aspects. Most developed countries do not have a great record on climate change, particularly the largest polluters.

Dec 05, 2014
Is Gimp waiting for the day we have to buy Oxygen, water, and Soylent Green from Exxon?


Dec 05, 2014
Two folk gave me ones for this:

"We can live with a slowdown in the economy, but cannot survive without a healthy environment to make our Oxygen, clean our water, and provide us with food, . . "

But did not tell us why. Why don't they discuss it, instead of hiding under the bridge to jump out to attack us?


Dec 05, 2014
Good for Grand old Oz.

Dec 06, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Dec 07, 2014
@imido: I'm skeptical that Cold Fusion is the solution to global warming, but I agree with you that investment in R&D for Green Energy and energy conservation is the best way to go. Once green energy becomes cheaper than fossil fuels, the CO2 emmitters will eagerly quit burning fossil fuels and global warming will recede.

Dec 07, 2014
" we have apparently not learned to trust science more than politicians. "

I would have much more confidence in the science and the scientists if they were not acting as shills for the politicians. You do realize, don't you, that the UN is a political body.

I would think your ones were for that statement rather than your remark about the economy.

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