Scott Morrison will not take part in the United Nations climate action summit, even though he was in America at the time to visit the Trump administration, instead deploying the foreign minister, Marise Payne, and the ambassador Australian for the environment, Patrick Suckling.
Guardian Australia understands that the oral bands at the New York event of September 23 have been reserved for countries announcing new emission reduction targets or financial commitments with the UN Green Fund – and Morrison has reported that 39; Australia will not go further, at least at this point, than the previously announced commitments.
A draft program for the summit and a list of Member States intending to present at the event, seen by Guardian Australia, did not include any reference to Australian participation. Morrison was asked on Wednesday by the Greens in question time if he would attend the UN summit and said that Australia would be represented at the event.
Asked by Guardian Australia to confirm if the prime minister would be the Australian representative and if the government offers new commitments, a spokesman for Morrison said: "Australia has already outlined our policies to tackle climate change, including the reduction emissions of 26- 28% and investing directly in climate resilience projects through our regional partners ".
The spokesman confirmed that Payne would attend the summit, not Morrison. "The Foreign Minister, accompanied by the ambassador for the environment, will highlight (the policies previously announced by the Coalition) when he will represent Australia at the United Nations Climate Change Summit ".
Morrison will go to New York later in the week as part of his visit to the United States to address the United Nations General Assembly.
In July, Guardian Australia reported that the UN secretary general, António Guterres, in a prelude to the special climate summit on September 23, had written to all heads of state, including Australia, asking countries to outline plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Morrison died at the time of what the Australia could have done at the United Nations event, but indicated that Australia was only engaging in the process until 2030, not in the next round of commitments for 2050 reported by the general secretary.
Despite the well-publicized differences at the recent Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) between regional leaders and Morrison on coal, Australia at the forum signed a statement committing Australia to continue efforts to limit heating global at 1.5 ° C and produce a 2050 strategy by 2020.
At the beginning of this year, Australian government officials also reiterated the commitment to "review and refine" internal policies in line with the five-year review process envisaged by the Paris Agreement . The Morrison government was contested by the European Union and China in June on the fact that Australia could meet its commitments in Paris, given the increasing trend of emissions evident from the repeal of the carbon price, including the increase in pollution caused by vehicles.
Australia must present a new pollution reduction target for the period after 2030 as part of the "review, refinement and ratchet" mechanism in the Paris agreement. In response to questions in view of a climate meeting in Bonn in June, Australian officials said they sharpen and revise: "This approach will provide an integrated consideration of internal politics and international goals and will provide guidance for industry on future policy review processes ".
While Australia has committed itself to PIF to develop a strategy for 2050 next year, Morrison has made it clear that the Coalition will not invest more in the UN climate fund, and instead will pursue investments in resilience climate change directly with the regional partners of Australia.
Morrison's spokesman said that Australia is pursuing direct investments because the countries of the region have faced "frustrations with the UN Green Climate Fund". Morrison at the PIF offered $ 500 million in five years starting in 2020 from existing aid funds for climate projects.
Britain was confirmed as the guest of the COP26 meeting in December 2020. That meeting at the end of next year under the auspices of the UN is considered the most important on the climate by the Paris process, because the parts of the Paris agreement will review their commitments.
The British government has privately appealed to the Coalition ministers, including the Energy Minister, Angus Taylor and Payne, to develop a more "ambitious" climate policy, despite the growing concern that Australia is not doing enough to reduce emissions.
While the current criticism of the government's policy on climate change is persistent by a number of interested parties, Morrison said on Wednesday in parliament that Australia had no way to respond. "We are doing our weightlifting. We are setting our goals. We are reaching our goals. We have the programs in place."
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