Tag: laggards

Corporate chiefs warn net zero laggards – Michael West

Much of corporate Australia is outdoing the government on climate ambition but some have little more than motherhood statements and no firm plan to achieve net zero, a business forum has been told.

Corporate chiefs warn net zero laggards – Michael West

Australia a laggard rather than leader on climate change, says Wayne Swan Former treasurer says there is ‘genuine dismay’ on global stage at the lack of attention given to climate issues on G20 agenda

Wayne Swan

“Inevitably, though, having made such pains of ourselves insisting on the G20 as the steering room of the global economy, the expectations on Australia in its host year are enormous.”

Australia has “gone from lifter to leaner” on action against climate change, and must not block the topic’s inclusion on the agenda for the G20 summit in Brisbane next month, the former treasurer Wayne Swan will say.

When asked about climate change in February the prime minister said:

“We do not want to clutter up the G20 agenda with every worthy and important cause because if we do, we will squander the opportunity to make a difference in the vital area of economic growth.”

But Swan, the Labor treasurer from 2007 to 2013, says climate change previously sat at the core of the G20 agenda “not just as an environmental issue but as a core issue of sustainable economic growth”.

“In the corridors of Washington, Berlin and elsewhere, there is genuine dismay about the lack of attention to climate change in the G20 agenda,” he says.

Referring to the Gillard government’s carbon pricing scheme, which has since been abolished by the Abbott government, Swan says: “Australia has been recognised around the world as an energy-intensive nation and a beneficiary of significant commodity exports, for taking seriously its international obligations to reduce its carbon emissions.”

“At best, Australia has gone from leader to laggard on climate change,”

Swan says.

“At worst, it’s gone from lifter to leaner. This is at the very time significant players like the US and China are more willing than ever to address climate change, and international financial institutions like the IMF are highlighting the strong links between climate change action and positive economic outcomes

Mining companies are campaigning for the G20 to support continued use of coal as a solution to the global “energy poverty” crisis.

Abbott said on Monday coal should not be demonised because it was “good for humanity”.

On Tuesday the treasurer, Joe Hockey, dismissed the finding that Australia was the highest per-capita emitter of greenhouse gases in the OECD.