While Australia is a co-founder of the Cartagena Dialogue for Progressive Action on green renewable energy, the country has maintained considerable distance from the other co-founders.
This action has again put the Government headed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a controversial position at the Lima, Peru summit, deemed to be critical in the 2015 Paris global agreement.
The 14 Australians delegates, the lowest number in two decades, didn’t go unnoticed by attendees from other nations who observed that the Australian voice was barely heard compared with previous summits. This show of short staff may be an indication that although Australia has not yet officially cut its ties to the Cartegena Dialogue, the country it is no longer as invested in green renewable energy targets.
Green renewable energy target no longer a Government priority
The green renewable energy dialogue is based on the principle of domestically “becoming or remaining” economies that advocate low CO2 emissions. The Dialogue also serves as a forum to work on a comprehensive, albeit ambitious, and legally binding green renewable energy targets to meet in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Following the 2009 collapse of climate talks in Copenhagen, the Cartagena Dialogue was founded by 30 countries in 2010 to secure a kind of middle ground in the fractious atmosphere of negotiations regarding climate change and green renewable energy. It proved influential during previous talks in Durban and Cancun, especially in helping heal the schism between developed and developing countries.
Cartagena Dialogue highlights Abbott’s lackluster commitment to climate change
The Australian Government’s decision to downgrade Cartagena’s position on their priority list has not boded well for the Abbott administration. This is the first conference on climate change which Australia has attended since the country scrapped the carbon price policy. Overtures of climate funding contribution have been dismissed by Australia as it cut funding of the UNEP.
The UNEP – short for United Nations Environment Programme – coordinates environmental activities worldwide and assists developing nations in their implementation of environmental-friendly practices and policies. With this apparent display of indifference from Australia climate talks are stalled every time the country participates in one of them.
Australia became upset at the mention of climate change during the G20 summit and has denied that climate change can be a threat to the Great Barrier Reef. Notwithstanding that work on its general carbon emission targets has not even been begun by Australia climate talks have progressed between Cartagena’s member-countries, including Australia’s neighbour, New Zealand.
Australia and their climate policies continue to be unpopular on the world stage
The Cartagena Dialogue members include Mexico, the U.K., Norway, Peru, Germany, Chile, Sweden, Burundi, Ghana, Samoa, Costa Rica, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Ethiopia, and the Dominican Republic, some of whom Australia is at odds with over the “loss and damage” issue and the demand for development nations to create a fund for the compensation of natural disasters’ costs.
Ironically, the Abbott Government is all but saying that it stands by its increasing support of massive investment in coal and gas powered energy stations even as the country participates in talks on gradually moving away from using fossil fuels. These actuations, and Australia’s policy positions, have frustrated the rest of the nations participating in the green renewable energy talks.