27 Apr China challenges Australia over climate stance
China and the United States have questioned Australia’s climate change targets and Direct Action Policy in a long list of questions submitted to the United Nations. China also questioned why Australia appeared to be doing less that it demanded of other developed countries and how this could be seen as fair or reasonable. Brazil and New Zealand were amongst other countries to raise questions for the Abbott Government. Brazil noted Australia’s low ambition and queried whether it would raise its target in order to decrease emissions faster. New Zealand questioned the results of recent changes in Australia’s policies and measures with respect to meeting its 2020 target.
Beijing also queried how the Emissions Reduction Fund, the cornerstone of the Australian Government’s Direct Action Policy, would counteract the axed carbon price and Australia’s commitment of a minimum 5% emissions reduction below 2000 levels by 2020. The questions have been provided to the United Nations to be answered by Australia leading up to the Paris Climate Summit in December 2015. Australia is also being questioned as to why they have not nominated a Minister or Senior Climate negotiator to attend the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate in Washington DC starting this Sunday (April 26), which will bring together Ministers from 17 major countries to accelerate work on a climate deal.
Australia is expected to respond to the list of questions before its performance is assessed in June this year at a United Nations climate meeting in Germany.