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Australia's climate change policy questioned



Australia may start to feel pressure to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions after a report by the Africa Progress Panel 2015 led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. In the report Australia is said to have gone from “leadership to free-rider status in climate diplomacy”. Australia is named along with Canada, Japan and Russia as nations that appear to have “withdrawn from the community of nations seeking to tackle dangerous climate change” according to the report.

Australia has one of the world’s highest per capita emissions and just 9 months after scrapping the carbon price in 2014, emission levels had jumped 1.6%. This is according to a separate report by energy consultants Pitt & Sherry. The report also stated that emissions from coal, petroleum and natural gas were all rising for the first time since November 2011.

Further pressure was mounting on Australian delegates at a recent UN press conference held in Bonn, Germany. Australia had to answer 36 questions from other concerned delegates, which was more than any other country, about issues such as scrapping the carbon price. This press conference was held in preparation for a Paris meeting in December at which countries will be aiming to sign a global agreement on climate action.

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