Waiting for a mandate… Send the Australian delegation your climate fortune

Food & climate change article written on the 05 Oct 2010

It’s the opening day of the climate negotiations in Tianjin, China. As I am writing this, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Christiana Figueres is giving her opening address to all the nations of the world. She just said “Now is the time to advance the search for common ground…It is in no one’s interest to delay action”.

No one, includes Australia.

In the realm of international climate talks Australia is certainly not a leader. We don’t have a price on carbon pollution, we are the world’s largest exported of coal and we do not have strong greenhouse gas reduction targets just to name a few.

But are we a laggard? Are we holding up the talks? Are we falling behind?

I believe that these negotiations in Tianjin, and Cancun in December, provide an opportunity for Australia to show leadership. To demonstrate that we are not a laggard. Australia needs to be bold. To step out and show they world that we are committed to real action that matches what the science requires.
In conversations the morning with the Australian delegation I got the impression that they are still waiting for a mandate from our newly elected government. They’re waiting to know how much they can give in the talks, and how much they can push.

The negotiators need to know that their government is behind strong action. And they also need to know that the Australia community supports them. That we want them to negotiate generously for a safe climate.
That’s why we’re asking for your help.

We want to send the Australian government negotiating team a clear message that the people of Australia continue to support international action on climate change. Tell us your climate fortune for 2010 by commenting on the bottom of this blog and I will deliver them to the Australian government negotiating team in Tianjin later this week.

The Australian Government must step up and show leadership in Tianjin and beyond. They must show that they are working hard to find common ground and will not delay action.

Stay tuned for more updates from the inside… I’m meeting with the Australian Ambassador on climate change, Louise Hand, this afternoon.

Tracking for you,
Phil