EU doesn’t think Australia 1% of the words emmissions are insignificant as the Conservatives do (ODT)
The Coalition’s internal climate war risks damaging the economy after Europe declared it would reject a $15 billion trade deal with Australia unless the Morrison government keeps its pledge to cut pollution under the Paris accord.
The EU bloc is Australia’s second largest trading partner, third largest export destination and second largest services market. The EU was also Australia’s largest source of foreign investment in 2017.
Mr Morrison – who is in Jakarta for trade talks – and Trade Minister Simon Birmingham declined to comment on the European Parliament’s position.
(TFC) Washington D.C. – Those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it, those that do understand are doomed to watch in horror while everyone else repeats it. The run up to overthrowing President Assad of Syria was occurring before The Fifth Column existed. I covered it …
By Mary Atkinson at MiddleEastEye Syrian passports found near the bodies of two of the suspected Paris attackers were fakes that were likely made in Turkey, police sources in France told Channel 4 News on Sunday. Greek officials had said on Saturday that one of the two …
The Paris attacks and the bombing of a Russian airliner have driven Moscow and the West closer together and, in doing so, have done more to seal Islamic State’s fate than 18 months of inconclusive Western airstrikes.
Follow all the latest news as it unfolds across Europe and the Middle East.
Police organize raids in Brussels neighborhood hours after carnage in Paris
Tragically, with today’s attacks on Paris, the cycle continues apace. As I wrote in March:
“To take a more recent example, as Juan Cole convincingly argued, the unjust violence of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris were meant to polarize or “sharpen the contradictions” between Muslims and non-Muslims in France by provoking unjustly violent oppression:
‘Al-Qaeda wants to mentally colonize French Muslims, but faces a wall of disinterest. But if it can get non-Muslim French to be beastly to ethnic Muslims on the grounds that they are Muslims, it can start creating a common political identity around grievance against discrimination.’ (…)
The neocons and the terrorist leaders, as Justin Raimondo put it, are “funhouse mirror counterparts” of each other. Both “see world events through a Manichean prism,” and seek to more completely realize that severe dualism by polarizing the world into two irreconcilable camps deadlocked in a civilizational Ragnarök. To this end, each pursues innocent-consuming savagery, and each counts on and even hopes for like savagery from the other.”
In fact, as I just learned tonight on Twitter, in one of its own publications following that attack, ISIS wrote of driving to “extinction” the “grayzone” between Islamic extremism and “the crusader coalition.” Again, it’s all about using terrorism to “sharpen the contradictions” and polarize the world.
And now indeed French president Hollande has said, “To all those who have seen these awful things, I want to say we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless.”
And there are even unconfirmed reports of a Calais migrant camp being set on fire.
Enough with this madness. Break the damn cycle. Stop being manipulated by extremists on both sides. This is the only world we have.
The GOP frontrunner’s victim-blaming echoes remarks he made following this winter’s Charlie Hebdo attack VIDEO
After another dreadful massacre, the French are tested again. Will they learn from America’s 9/11 mistakes?
One CIA estimate puts ISIS’ total manpower at 31,500, about one-third the capacity of Rose Bowl stadium, or roughly, 0.0019% of the world’s total Muslim population when rounding down to 1.6 billion. The idea that the remaining 1,599,965,000 Muslims ought to jump on Twitter and condemn ISIS isn’t just silly, it’s a definition of prejudice. But here we are. Another attack, another round of people calling on moderate Muslims to condemn something they had nothing to do with. Or as Mohamed Ghilan tweeted last year, “Asking me to condemn the obviously condemnable presumes my basic moral code is in question. I refuse to take part in this.”
Nevertheless, Muslims from around the world are making it clear ISIS does not represent their values. Iran’s Supreme Leader Hassan Rouhani denounced the attacks, postponing his trip to Europe to renew peace talks on the Syrian conflict. Iran and Iran-backed Hezbollah fight ISIS and other extremists in Syria (as well as non-Salafists). The day before the Paris attacks, militants claiming allegiance to ISIS bombed a civilian area of Beirut in an effort to undermine Hezbollah’s support there.
Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, the president of Indonesia, the largest Muslim country on earth, roundly condemned the attacks, telling reporters, “Indonesia condemns the violence that took place in Paris.” In a now-viral video on YouTube (viewable above), a Moroccan man expressed his condolences to the victims, saying, “These so-called jihadists only represent themselves.”
Arab states Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Egypt have all condemned the attacks, though it should be noted, the unelected rulers who run the Saudi Kingdom and Qatar have routinely funded and armed jihadists in Syria.
The largest Muslim group in the United States, CAIR, quickly condemned the attacks, insisting, “These savage and despicable attacks on civilians, whether they occur in Paris, Beirut or any other city, are outrageous and without justification.” The US Council of Muslim Organizations released a statement also condemning the attack.
We will update this post as more information comes in.
Leaders from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Paris in December for the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference to try and agree on a climate treaty, discuss how we can keep global warming below two degrees and reduce the dangerous effects of climate change.
Australia’s insistence on legally binding emissions targets an ‘impossible requirement’ that would drive away the US and China, experts say
The Abbott government has been accused of setting impossible requirements for Australia’s participation in any global climate change agreement clinched in Paris next year by insisting it must include legally binding emissions targets.
Experts say the Paris agreement could require countries to enshrine their new post-2020 greenhouse emission reduction targets in domestic law but that any attempt to include those targets in the legally binding international treaty itself would drive away the world’s two biggest emitters – the US and China – and ensure that the process failed.
The foreign minister, Julie Bishop – who has revealed Tony Abbott knocked back her first request to attend the current preparatory meeting in Lima, Peru, and who is now to be “chaperoned” at that meeting by the trade minister, Andrew Robb – has said a Paris agreement must include binding targets. If it did not it would “amount to nothing more than aspirations”, she said.
“It seems like they are trying to set impossible conditions so that they can portray a successful Paris agreement as a failure,” said Frank Jotzo, associate professor at the Australian National University’s Crawford School.
“Legally binding instruments can build confidence that countries will act on the commitments they make internationally. However, the legal form of an international agreement does not determine its effectiveness. The most binding treaty will do little to address climate change if some major emitters like the US and China do not participate.”
The former Labor government’s expert adviser on climate policy, Professor Ross Garnaut, said the government should “forget about” the idea of a legally binding treaty if it really wanted an effective climate outcome from Paris.
“A comprehensive legally binding agreement is not possible because that is not what the US does,” he said. “It is rare for the US to bind itself on anything. Woodrow Wilson was unable to get the US Senate to support membership of the League of Nations that was the creation of the United States.
“President Obama has made it clear that he will not support US participation in a legally binding agreement, and that instead the US has made a serious domestic commitment to implementing the ambitious objectives embodied in the Xi-Obama Agreement. China will not enter a legally binding agreement if the US does not. So forget about it.
“A legally binding agreement is of no value anyway, as, while it may be legally binding, such an agreement is not enforceable. Look at Canada’s walking away from its legally binding Kyoto commitments … and there is no evidence that countries are more likely to deliver on notionally legally binding than on domestic political commitments.
“Kyoto” refers to the Kyoto protocol which included countries’ greenhouse reduction commitments up to 2012.
The government’s own independent advisory body, the Climate Change Authority, said in a report: “One thing the Paris meeting will not deliver is a universal, prescriptive, enforcement-oriented legal agreement, similar in form to the existing Kyoto protocol. For one thing, such an outcome is not achievable in the short term.
“Insisting on it would likely be counterproductive and lead to more modest global action. The value of the Paris outcome will be its effect on emissions and efforts over time, not its particular legal form.”
The government has unsuccessfully sought to abolish the Climate Change Authority.
The deputy director of the Climate Institute thinktank, Erwin Jackson, said Australia’s insistence on legally binding targets was setting the process up for failure.
“Any agreement signed in Paris will be binding but the individual national targets almost certainly won’t be,” he said. “It may be that countries are required to enshrine their targets in domestic laws, but to suggest the targets need to be part of an internationally binding commitment is to set up an impossible requirement because it would ensure that the United States, China and probably India would not be able to participate.
“The test of a country’s commitment is whether it is prepared to pass domestic regulations to curb its own emissions. The United States and China have done that.
“Australia is going in the opposite direction. Its Direct Action policy contains no binding limits on emissions. This discussion about the need for legally binding international commitments is just a distraction and would be the worst possible thing for a successful global climate agreement.”
The government is also under fire for refusing to make any contributions to the Green Climate Fund, to which President Barack Obama pledged $3bn during his trip to Brisbane for the G20 summit. The government says it already pays for climate adaptation and mitigation through its foreign aid budget. It has not provided figures for that contribution and the budget document on the aid program contains passing references to a program in Tuvalu.
Australia sent no minister to last year’s international climate talks in Warsaw, Poland. It is believed that Robb’s job is to make sure Bishop does not go too far in committing Australia to climate action, and that Bishop is very unhappy at being accompanied.
Australia has said it will unveil a post-2020 emissions reduction target before the Paris talks, but most observers believe the Direct Action policy would struggle to deliver deeper cuts than the 5% reduction promised by 2020.
Under the former Labor government Australia provided about $200m a year to the so-called “fast start” program for climate change assistance to developing countries but that spending has been cut.