Tuesday, December 9, 2008

World to Australia - don't wreck negotiations again

China and South Africa are among countries at the international climate talk-fest in Poznan pleading with the Australian government not to block consensus on binding short-term emissions reduction targets yet again.

Although it is widely known that Australia helped to wreck climate negotiations all through the denialist Howard years, it is less widely known that at the UNFCC in Bali, one month after the Rudd government's election, Australia yet again teamed up with the US, Canada and Japan to block consensus on binding short-term targets.

Instead, Australia committed to an aspirational target of 25-40% by 2020, a promise which they are expected to break when Penny Wong announces Australia's target next Monday.

China, whom Rudd and Wong routinely blame for climate change, has now called on Australia to keep its promise and not to pull a Bali again.

Scientists are unsure that a 40% reduction by 2020, if implemented universally, will be enough to prevent humanity from completely melting the Arctic ice cap and tipping us into a dangerous runaway climate zone.

However, new hopes emerged at Stansted airport this morning, where 57 people from the action group Plane Stupid have put their freedom on the line by blockading the runaway and leading to the cancellation of 50 flights, saving 2300 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The activists were protesting against the hypocritical approval of an airport expansion intended largely to service short-haul "love mile" flights, even as the UK has adopted a stricter 80% by 2050 emissions reduction target.

"We're afraid of what the police might do to us, we're afraid of going to jail but nothing scares us as much as the threat of runaway climate change. We've thought through the consequences of what we're doing here but we're determined to stop as many tonnes of CO2 as we can," said spokesperson Lily Kember.

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