The corrupt, mendacious, racist, anti-science, and climate criminal National Party-Liberal Party Coalition that rules climate criminal Australia has succeeded in sabotaging the COP26 Climate Change Conference (as it has all previous climate conferences) in 10 key ways:
(1). Racist ignoring of the right of Developing Countries with relatively low “GDP per capita” and “GHG pollution per capita” (e.g. India and China) to achieve modest socio-economic improvement for all their citizens while also achieving “zero net pollution” 20 years later (India) and 10 years later (China) than rich Developed Countries that aim for “zero net pollution by 2050”. In terms of population, “GDP per capita” and “tonnes CO2-e per person per year” (2016 estimate with land use considered) we can compare China (1,400 million, $11,800 and 7.4), India (1,390 million, $2,190, and 2.1) and Australia (26 million, $63,000 and 53 or 116 with its exports included).
(2). Totalling rejecting a Price on Carbon – the damage-related Carbon Price is $200 per tonne CO2-e but the global average applied Carbon Price is a mere $2 per tonne CO2-e. Australia’s Carbon Debt from non-application of a Carbon Price is $5 trillion and increasing at $600 billion per year, but Australia insultingly and dishonestly offered a mere $1 billion over the next 5 years to help Pacific Island Nations “cope” with existentially-threatening global warming for which Australia is disproportionately responsible.
(3). Refusing to join the countries committing to a 30% reduction in methane (CH4) emissions by 2030, with the pathetically weak Labor Opposition Leader Anthony “Albo” Albanese spinelessly agreeing with this morally bankrupt Coalition Government decision. Australia is a world leader in CH4-generating coal exploitation, gas exploitation and livestock production. Australia will support the COP26 ban on “deforestation”, but this claim is fraught with definitional and trust deficiencies.
(4). Refusing to increase on its present paltry “26-28% off 2005 pollution by 2030” (many comparable countries are offering”50% off by 2030”).
(5). Refusing to specify how its “promised” pollution cuts will be achieved. Fervent Pentecostal Christian Australian PM Scott “Scomo” Morrison declared “I have always believed in miracles” after being unexpectedly re-elected in 2019, and now “promises” that 2030 and 2050 “targets” will be met by “technology not taxes” i.e. by as yet unknown and undreamed of technological “miracles.”
(6). Utterly false spin about (a) “gas is cleaner”, (b) “nuclear is clean and renewable”, (c) “fossil fuel-based energy is clean if coupled with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS),” and (d) “clean hydrogen.” (a) Gas is mostly CH4, leaks and has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 105 relative to CO2 (on a 20 year time frame and with aerosol impacts considered), this meaning that exploiting gas is worse GHG-wise than exploiting coal; (b) asserting that “nuclear energy” is “clean” and “renewable” is false (uranium and thorium ores are finite and not renewable; excepting the actual fission process, in a Carbon Economy all parts of the nuclear process from mining to disposal of waste generate CO2); (c) CCS is an expensive pipe-dream and yet to be applied commercially on a large scale; and (d) “green hydrogen” generated by electrolysis of water using genuinely renewable energy is clean, but hydrogen generated using coal, gas or dirty electricity is dirty.
(7). Falsely claiming that “Australia is meeting its commitments.” In 2021 Australia ranked second worst in the Developed World after the US for “climate policy” and seventh worst for climate action.
(8). According to the Guardian (3 November 2021): “Australia [is] considering more than 100 fossil fuel projects that could produce 5% of global industrial emissions. The coal and gas works, if approved, would result in a nearly 30% increase in emissions within Australia.”
(9). The National Party is the powerful and deeply reactionary minor party in the Australian National Party-Liberal Party Coalition Government. With the Liberal Party it has fought tooth and nail over decades to block action on climate change, and only agreed to the far-off “zero emissions by 2050” policy just before COP26 and on the basis of secret deals e.g. the National MP Keith Pitt who had recently proposed a $250 billion subsidy scheme for new coal and gas operations was rewarded pre-COP26 by being made Minister for Resources.
(10). The Coalition is adamant that Australia will have a post-COVID-19 Pandemic gas-led recovery, and that in applying measures to cut carbon emissions there will be no damage to Australia’s huge coal extraction, gas extraction and methanogenic livestock production industries. Australia leads the world in coal and gas exports and is among world leaders in 16 areas of climate criminality.
In 2021 I published a huge book entitled Climate Crisis, Climate Genocide & Solutions that concluded with a summary of 38 partial Solutions to the Climate Emergency. Unfortunately the mendacious, neoliberal, anti-science, anti-environment, corrupt and climate criminal Australian Coalition Government in its latest pre-COP26 pronouncements ignores all but 7 of these Solutions, and also ignores serious associated caveats (e.g. refusal to mandate measures, effective climate change denialism through inaction, spin and lies about what is “clean” and “renewable”, limits to re-afforestation, and the unfortunate reality that hydrogen (H2) can be a potent “indirect GHG” by scavenging hydroxyl radicals involved in removing atmospheric CH4) (for details see Gideon Polya, “Idiocracy: Australian Coalition Government Mendacity, Corruption & Inaction Sabotaging COP26,” Countercurrents, 30 October 2021).
As with other neoliberal, Western “ostensible democracies,” Australian democracy has transmuted to a kleptocracy, plutocracy, Murdochracy, corporatocracy, dollarocracy and lobbyocracy in which Big Money purchases people, politicians, parties, policies, votes and hence more power and more private profit. However massive lying by Mainstream presstitutes and greedy GHG-polluting billionaires has now made Australia an idiocracy in which a woefully ignorant and deceived electorate votes for ignorant, corrupt, lying climate and criminal politicians.
My friends from the Left to the Right are appalled by the very real prospect that the ignorant, mendacious, and climate criminal Australian Government led by PM Scott ”Scomo” Morrison will be re-elected in the forthcoming 2022 elections. Former Australian Coalition PM Malcolm Turnbull and French President Emmanuel Macron have both described Morrison as a liar, the latter famously saying what he thought of this proposition: “I don’t think, I know.” In the 2019 elections the GHG-polluting mining billionaire Clive Palmer invested A$60 million (a gigantic sum for Australian elections) to help the return of the Coalition Government, which was also backed by the effective climate change denying US Murdoch media empire that has 70% of Australian newspaper readership. The Clive Palmer campaign for 2022 has already begun together with an asinine campaign directed by the Government at young voters and funded by taxpayer money.
COP26 confirms what I have concluded for several years now that the world has effectively run out of time to avoid a catastrophic plus 2C temperature rise. What can decent folk do to minimize massive harm to their children, grandchildren and future generations? Decent Australians must utterly reject the climate criminal Coalition, vote 1 Green and put the Coalition last. Island Nations, tropical countries and an increasingly climate-impacted World will apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), Climate Tariffs, International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutions, and International Court of Justice (ICJ) litigations against a remorselessly speciescidal, ecocidal and climate criminal Australia.