Former Australian diplomats call for climate action | Western Review

The Australian government’s “inertia” on climate action is hurting its position on the world stage, argued former diplomats in an open letter pushing for ambitious new emission reduction targets.

The letter is signed by 70 former diplomats – all ranging from ambassadors and high commissioners to humanitarian aid coordinators and middle officials at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – and expresses the group’s concern for the environment and the future economy of the country.

“We fear that the climate will change quickly and without urgent action (…) the future of life on this planet looks bleak for our children and grandchildren,” said the former consul general of eastern Indonesia and Deputy Ambassador to Greece, Richard Mathews.

The group says key allies around the world – including the United States – are increasingly voicing concerns that Australia is not “putting its weight” on climate action.

“Australia’s inertia on commitments undermines our credibility as a regional partner; it undermines our reliability in the minds of our strategic allies; and that will cost us dearly as business partners, ”the letter reads.

“As former diplomats, we see what is going on in the world, and we are concerned that Australia is not at the forefront of international action on climate change.”

The country must commit to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, they say, and set more ambitious targets to be achieved also by 2030, both ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. in November.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison spent the last week in the United States meeting with President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, both of whom are locked in the 2050 target, as well as other members of the so-called Quad which includes India and Japan.

In an interview with Washington’s Seven Network, Mr Morrison said he was working patiently with his coalition partners, the Nationals, on a deal to achieve net zero emissions.

“I want to make sure that I bring people together on this so that Australians can have confidence that we are dealing with climate change, that we care deeply about their concerns as to what the change means to them,” a- he declared.

Associated Australian Press

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