Hosting Cop in 2026 could be the incentive Australia needs to turbocharge climate action

(The Guardian, 11 Mar 2024) Albanese promised to put his hand up for the world’s largest climate trade show – but the bid’s not locked in yet and the clock is ticking

In 2021 the then prime minister, Scott Morrison, reluctantly agreed to attend the Glasgow Climate Conference – the 26th Conference of the Parties (Cop) – thanks largely to peer pressure from the United Kingdom, which was the president of the conference at the time (and was led by a Conservative prime minister). Despite his reluctance, Morrison felt compelled to adopt a net zero by 2050 target before takeoff.

Only a week after the conference, the then opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, said if Labor won the next election, he would put his hand up to host a Cop in 2024.

Well, Labor won. And it’s 2024. So dude, where is my Cop?

Cops are a big deal. Like, a really big deal.

At the Cop in Dubai last year there were about 90,000 attenders. Cops are the biggest event a country can host outside sports. As the climate crisis has grown, so too have the conferences’ scope. To add to the complexity, all decisions taken at the conference must be by consensus. Think about how hard it is to introduce climate policies in Australia where all you need is a simple 50% majority and then imagine getting consensus between almost every nation on Earth.

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The Guardian, 11 Mar 2024: Hosting Cop in 2026 could be the incentive Australia needs to turbocharge climate action