In the lead up to COP26 we spent much time discussing the political “theatre” that took place between Scott Morrison and the Nationals to reach an agreement on Net Zero Emissions by 2050.
We studied an interesting article about the modelling behind the government’s “so called Plan” for emissions reduction, which revealed that the Prime Minister had got the Nationals to agree to a plan that supported fossil fuels over farmers.
The modelling showed that the government had been considering two scenarios. One that could see Australia increase its investment in domestic carbon sequestration, achieved primarily through increased revegetation of Australian land, which would boost income for farmers and result in Australia achieving full net zero emissions by 2050. However, the government and the National Party room chose a plan that cuts emissions by 85 percent by 2050 and leaves the fossil fuel industry better off.
We also had much discussion about what was happening at COP26 and, in particular, the issue of reducing the use of fossil fuels. We read an article about the “Fossil Fuelled 5”, wealthy countries that have amassed vast amounts of wealth from fossil fuels over centuries and are unwilling to give it up – when the wealth could be used to fund the transition to cleaner energy for developing countries.
The five wealthy countries nominated in the report as the “Fossil Fuelled 5” are the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Norway and Australia. All of these countries plan to approve and subsidize new fossil fuel projects despite claiming to be leading the climate fight.
Freddie Daley, from the University of Sussex, and the author of the report “The Fossil Fuelled 5” says:
“Not only are these wealthy nations jeopardizing their own futures and the future of their citizens through this continued expansion, but they are condemning communities in the global south to a sate of perpetual crisis which they did the least to create. If these nations want to be climate pioneers, it is time they addressed the elephant in the room: fossil fuels.”
For many of our meetings throughout the last 12 months the politics of climate change was a major focus of our discussions and will no doubt be a major issue in the coming federal election.
After thirteen years as Convenor of the Sustainability group this will be my final report as we will be moving away from Benalla in the new year. However, the group will continue in 2022 as two current members have agreed to act as joint convenors.