29 Apr Australia in “naughty corner” over climate change stance
Professor Peter Doherty, an Australian Nobel laureate of medicine, has revealed that his peers at a sustainability symposium in Hong Kong have expressed their dislike of Australia’s stance on climate change in the lead up to Paris in December, telling him that Australia is “very much out of sync and out of touch with what is happening globally”. The symposium is held every three years and is attended by 12 laureates who will sign a Memorandum which details their recommendations for making major cities sustainable.
Doherty’s interest in climate change was sparked by the link with health (e.g. relationship between heat waves and heat stress, the spread of malaria from the tropics to other regions). He stated that it may be difficult to get the current Australian Government to endorse and adopt the Memorandum which will urge Governments to make climate change mitigation in major cities a central focus of climate change policy. In contrast, many European Governments have made major policy changes due to major floods and other catastrophic climate events. He also noted that in Britain there is a better relationship between science and Government than in Australia due to the presence of Senior Scientists in the House of Lords, and therefore conversations that need to take place can take place far easier than in Australia.