Australia already 'carrying its load' on emissions and must adapt to warmer climate, PM says

(The Guardian, 29 Jan 2020) Scott Morrison says ‘we are playing our part’, and given climate change cannot be stopped, Australia needs to focus on bushfire resilience and adaptation.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has rejected suggestions Australia could increase its international advocacy on climate change, saying the country is already “carrying its load” and must adapt to a warmer climate regardless of emissions policy.

After indicating that the government would “evolve” its climate change policies to address heightened concerns about the role of global warming in Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis, Morrison used a keynote speech at the National Press Club on Wednesday to talk up the government’s current policies, including its emission reduction targets.

“We know that Australia on its own cannot control the world’s climate as Australia accounts for just 1.3% of global emissions,” Morrison said.

“We also know that no fire event can be attributed to the actions of any one country on emissions reduction. But Australia must play its part and we are playing our part. Taking action is agreed – our action, though, is a balanced and responsible emissions reduction plan.

“The science tells us the effects of emissions already in the atmosphere will continue to be felt in coming decades, even under the most ambitious global emissions reduction scenarios.”

When asked if the government could “step up and advocate” for more ambitious global action on climate change given its role as a “proud middle power”, Morrison said Australia was already doing enough.

External link

The Guardian, 29 Jan 2020: Australia already 'carrying its load' on emissions and must adapt to warmer climate, PM says