Hours before the start of the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Australia has “come to light” by siding with China and India to resist pressure to set a timetable for phasing out coal-fired electricity, a UK senior environmental adviser has said. .
In the months leading up to the talks, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that in addition to the formal United Nations climate negotiations, for Glasgow to be successful, the world must take the opportunity to tackle the ” coal, cars, money and trees “.
By this he means that leaders must agree to move away from fossil fuels, must accelerate the process of decarbonizing transport and industry, must provide more finance to developing countries to help them change their economies and must help. to create carbon sinks by protecting and replanting forests.
It had been hoped that progress on decarbonisation would be made at this weekend’s G20 meeting in Rome.
By siding with China and India in resisting setting a timetable for phasing out coal, Australia is signaling it is out of step with the UK and other major Western economies on the need to phase out fossil fuels, said Chris Littlecott, policy director at the E3G institute, which has advised on the international transition from coal.
“[The position on coal] reveals that Australia tends to take an oppositional rather than a constructive approach. He draws red lines but doesn’t say what he might agree to.
“The feeling I get from speaking with diplomats is that they are frustrated with the Australian approach,” he said.
In the hours leading up to the start of the talks, Glasgow is feeling increasingly uncomfortable not achieving the results needed to keep the world on track to keep warming well below 2 degrees and so close. as possible 1.5 degrees.