Climate change on G20 agenda

31 Oct, 2014 11:20 AM
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This is a concession by the Australian government, which had earlier resisted the idea

THE Abbott government has reluctantly agreed to discuss climate change at the G20 summit in Brisbane, but the G20 group will not make any new commitments to act on emissions.

According to a draft communiqué now circulating to member countries, climate change will come under discussion.

It is to fall under the heading of energy efficiency, but it has its own paragraph in the current draft of the official summary of proceedings.

This is a concession by the Australian government, which had earlier resisted the idea that the forum discuss the subject.

With the host country insisting that the total length of the communiqué be limited to a crisp three pages, a separate paragraph is considered a minor triumph.

The United States and France are among the countries most insistent that climate change be on the agenda, officials said.

But the draft indicates only a very general paragraph on climate change, according to officials, and no new commitment to any specific action on the matter is being contemplated.

The countries most resistant to any action on climate change include Russia and Saudi Arabia. The G20 operates on the principle of consensus.

The group was set up as an economic policy co-ordinator, and Treasurer Joe Hockey said that climate change did not come up at the first two meetings of G20 finance ministers this year under Australia's chairmanship.

Seeking to make a partisan point, Opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler said that by excluding the subject from the G-20, Abbott government policy had "moved from embarrassing and ignorant to downright damaging to Australia".

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in June that it was "important to ensure that these international meetings don't cover all subjects and illuminate none".

And the Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said "we must prioritise issues where there is consensus within the G20 on taking action."

By contrast, US President Barack Obama's international adviser, Caroline Atkinson, said there would be "many people around the table" at the meeting who would want to discuss climate change.

Discussions by lead negotiators suggest that the Brisbane meeting will lend rhetorical support to progress towards a successful UN summit on climate change in Paris late next year.

New commitments to cut carbon emissions in the years after 2020 are due to be agreed at the Paris meeting.

Any related new measures at the G20 meeting next month will be under the rubric of energy efficiency.

Among the areas under discussion are proposals for efficiency in industrial energy use and efficiency in network devices.

Also on a "menu" for the lead negotiators to consider are ways of improving the financing of renewable energy projects, and improving fuel efficiency of heavy vehicles.

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Why do they forget the small producers they are the backbone of the industry. What. Did this
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Good these guys will be able to help the farmers they are treating like second class peasants.
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Lets' hope Troy Grant doesn't Delforce's website or it will be yet another NSW