President Trump is keeping a promise he made during the 2016 election campaign to get the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Australia must do the same.
In a speech to the Lowy Institute in October, Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned of the dangers of “negative” globalism; which “coercively seeks to impose a mandate from an often ill-defined borderless global community.” “And worse still”, Morrison added, “an unaccountable internationalist bureaucracy.”
The Paris Climate Agreement is an exemplar of this “negative globalism.”
The Paris Agreement is a global agreement between 188 nations, which mandates greenhouse gas emissions reductions. It is littered with neo-pagan earth-worship neologisms like “Mother Earth” – with a capital “M” and capital “E” – “climate justice”, and “international equality”. This could have easily have been penned by the great unwashed of Extension Rebellion in between spells of gluing their hands to footpaths, or spitting on passers-by as they make their way to work.
Seriously, do any Ministers read these agreements before they sign them?
Under the Paris Agreement, Australia is forced to reduce its emissions by 28 per cent by 2030 on 2005 levels. These are the deepest cuts imposed on any nation on a per capita basis.
While Australia must cut its emissions, China – the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses – is able to increase its emissions by 150 per cent.
The world’s second largest emitter, the United States, has now issued formal notice that it will be exiting the agreement.
Not one of the nations of the European Union – collectively the third largest emitters – are on target to meet their emission reduction obligations.
And India, the fourth largest emitter, will meet its emission reduction requirements under the business as usual scenario, meaning the Paris Agreement has no effect.
So while the Greta Thunberg’s and Bob Brown’s of the world may want to stop Adani, they are curiously silent about the fact that China has some 1,032 coal-fired power stations currently in operation, and a further 126 under construction. Or that has India 291 coal plants and 33 more on the way.
Much of China and India’s coal plants are fuelled using Australian coal. Yet Australia has just 20 coal-fired power plants in operation and a grant total of zero in construction. Apparently, Australian coal is good enough to be exported around the world, but cannot be used to deliver affordable and reliable energy at home. Australia first? More like Australia last.
You might be wondering which nations are actually meeting their Paris Agreement obligations.
The Climate Action Tracker, a consortium of three research organisations, tracks the progress of 32 nations in meeting their Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets. These 32 nations account for 80 per cent of total emissions – so they provide a good baseline for how the agreement is faring. The tracker finds that only Morocco has policies which are “Paris Agreement compatible”. Morocco might be an economic powerhouse, but it accounts for just 0.6 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Put simply, Australia is being taken advantage of by the rest of the world. The negotiators from Brussels, Beijing, and Mumbai, have out-played Australia’s inept and incompetent foreign policy and economic establishment.
All the nations failing to follow the agreement are able to obtain a competitive economic advantage against Australia. Low electricity prices mean more investment, jobs, and economic growth.
It would be a comedy if it weren’t so tragic.
Research by the Institute of Public Affairs has estimated that the Paris Agreement will increase the cost of generating electricity in Australia by $52 billion, or $8,566 per family. This $52 billion could provid funding for 22 new hospitals, two decades’ worth of the Gonski 2.0 education funding, or over four years’ worth of funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
For families, $8,566 would provide funding for five years’ worth of schooling at a local government school, paying down entire credit card debt, or four years’ worth of electricity bills.
For all of this economic self-harm, there will be no noticeable environmental benefit. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have estimated that the Paris Agreement will only produce a two-tenths of one-degree Celsius reduction in global warming by the year 2100.
In other words, instead of the temperature reaching 42 degrees on a hot summer’s day, it will be just 41.8 degrees – so don’t throw away your air-conditioner just yet.
This economic self-harm is even more foolish when you consider the fact that Australia accounts for just 1.3 per cent of the global emissions caused by human activity, and human activity accounts for just three per cent of total emissions. Even Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel said the complete cessation of all emissions from Australia would do “virtually nothing” to the global climate.
President Trump is putting America first and the globalists last by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Scott Morrison and the Coalition would do well to remember that they were elected by the Australian people to represent the voters of Penrith and Parramatta, not Paris. An agreement which imposes significant and irreparable economic damage without delivering a discernible environmental benefit is the very definition of negative globalism.