Australia amongst Commonwealth nations not doing their bit on climate action

UK-based charity, Christian Aid, has released a report to coincide with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, claiming that richer Commonwealth countries, including Australia, are failing to make a fair contribution to climate change efforts.

The report states that the UK, Australia, Singapore and Canada, are “doing far less than their fair share of the global mitigation that will be needed for the world to reach the Paris temperature target, while the smaller, poorer and more vulnerable Commonwealth members are going the extra mile and actually overachieving on the emissions cuts required of them under the Paris Agreement.”

“If the Commonwealth is truly to show its commitment to sustainable development and values of fairness and duty as a model to the rest of the world, then it is vital that its more developed members catch up and honour their climate responsibilities.”

Christian Aid worked with the Climate Equity Reference Project (CERP), an initiative of EcoEquity and the Stockholm Environment Institute, to analyse whether each country of the Commonwealth is taking its ‘fair share’ of global climate action needed to achieve a 1.5°C outcome.

The report recommended that the Commonwealth and its members demonstrate their goal of delivering a more sustainable future by: :

  • Triggering more ambitious climate goals and accelerated action by member countries, based on fair shares; wealthier countries, including the UK, Australia, Singapore and Canada, deepening their domestic mitigation and, crucially, also increasing their financial, technological and other support to poorer countries.

  • Accelerating the transition to sustainable energy across the Commonwealth by helping members tackle a lack of access to sustainable energy and promote green energy options. Wealthy Commonwealth members must provide financial and technical support and incentives to help the poorest member countries.

  • Playing a positive, leading role in the Talanoa Dialogue to enhance the political will towards strengthening national mitigation and adaptation ambition by 2020 in order to achieve the Paris Agreement goals.

The report, Climate Inequality in the Commonwealth – a call for urgent action, is available here.

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