InDaily

Adelaide's independent news

Support

Turnbull pledges $800 million for climate change

News

Australia will commit an extra $800 million over five years to help poorer countries cope with climate change but will redirect the funds from the existing foreign aid budget.

Comments
Comments Print article

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed the multimillion dollar gift on Tuesday (AEDT) during his national statement at the United Nations climate change conference in Paris.

The money is earmarked to help vulnerable Pacific Island nations both adapt to climate change and curb carbon pollution.

However, like the $200 million reluctantly pledged for the Green Climate Fund in Peru last year, the additional $800 million will be redirected from the foreign aid budget. The extra cash to bring Australia’s climate finance contribution to $1 billion was yet to be allocated to other aid projects.

“Some of the most vulnerable nations are our Pacific neighbours and we are helping them to build resilience through practical action and assistance,” Turnbull told the UN summit.

“The impacts of global warming are already being felt and will continue to be so even after we reach global net zero emissions.”

The prime minister was among around 150 world leaders to outline their vision for climate action on the first day of the summit and pressed the importance of innovation in tackling global warming.

“We are not daunted by our challenge … We do not doubt the implications of the science, or the scale of the challenge,” he said.

Finance is a hot topic at the talks, with some predicting the fate of an agreement could depend on the size of the ask to entice poorer nations to sign on. There’s been growing pressure on Australia to pledge additional money, with international ‘friends’ stumping up large contributions.

Under the new leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada pledged $2.65 billion over five years, while Japan committed to mobilising $10.6 billion in private and public funds by 2020.

Australia has also recently secured itself a spot as co-chair of the Green Climate Fund – the global public fund set up to invest in climate action in poorer countries.

It’s hoped the Paris talks will produce a historic agreement between 196 parties to curb emissions and limit global warming to at least two degrees.

Australia has brought 2030 emissions reduction targets of 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels to Paris, a goal constructed under former prime minister Tony Abbott.

While Turnbull said that goal was one of the biggest of any G20 country in terms of per capita emissions, he indicated flexibility to increase it over time.

“Our agreement here in Paris must provide a common platform for action, the dynamism to build ambition and a robust and transparent reporting system,” he said.

Part of that dynamism is a push by the Australian delegation for five-yearly reviews, which would force countries to assess their efforts and adjust accordingly.

Analysis shows current country pledges would limit global warming to about 2.7 degrees Celsius, a level vulnerable Pacific Island nations believe would spell their end.

Turnbull also formally announced Australia’s plan to double renewable energy investment as part of a multi-country initiative known as Mission Innovation.

The 20 countries, including the United States, China and India, represent 80 per cent of global clean energy research and development budgets.

As part of the plan, Australian government investment in clean energy research and development will double to about $200 million by 2020.

Turnbull also confirmed Australia’s commitment to a deal in Paris, while announcing the country would ratify the second Kyoto Protocol period of 2012-2020. It means the government can use carry-over accounting measures due to exceeding its first period target.

Earlier, French President Francois Hollande told delegates the stakes of an international meeting had never been so high.

“What is at stake is the future of the planet,” he said.

Hollande thanked the international community for all the signs of friendship following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris just weeks before the conference.

AAP

We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.

InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.

Powered by PressPatron

Comments

Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More News stories

Loading next article

Subscribe to InDaily – it’s free!

South Australia’s locally owned, independent source of digital news.

Subscribe now and go in the monthly draw* for your chance to WIN a $100 voucher!

Subscribe free here

*Terms and conditions apply

Welcome back!

Did you know it’s FREE to subscribe?

Subscribe now and go in the monthly draw* for your chance to WIN a $100 voucher!

Subscribe

*Terms and conditions apply