Australia has refused to pay into the UN’s Green Climate Fund, designed to pay for climate change adaptations for developing nations, preferring to cut out the ‘Green blob’ middleman and finance initiatives directly. The Chinese delegation said that this was “not good news”. Speaking at the UN Climate Summit in Peru, the Australian delegates also called for commitments from all major economies including China on emissions. (h/t Jo Nova)
Speaking to Associated Press before the summit in Lima, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, said: “The Green Climate Fund is about supporting developing countries build resilience to climate change. Australia is already doing that through our aid program. From my experience, bilateral work is able to customize responses when we’re working directly with another partner country.”
So far about $10 billion a year has been pledged by rich countries, but the ambition is to go much further. Su Wei, China’s lead negotiator said: “It is not good news [about] Australia, if it is true that they refuse to provide any money to the GCF.
“It also has very important impacts in the negotiating process. It’s a trust-building process. There is still a large gap toward the 2020 targets of $100 billion a year.”
Bishop hit back, saying that Australia would not set any self-imposed emissions targets beyond 2020 until agreement on creating a level playing field could be reached. “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.
Furthermore, Bishop called for details of an agreement between the US and China on emissions to be released, saying: “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.”
Commenting on the announcement, climate blogger Joanne Nova said: “Apparently the Australian government can see that funding these UN agencies is hand-feeding sharks. By paying for environmental aid direct, our tax funds might achieve something useful, and it exposes the hypocritical self-interest of the Green Gravy train. Which environmental groups will praise Abbott and Bishop? All the ones that put the environment and the poor ahead of the Blobby [i.e., none].”