Australia’s Scott Morrison does not rule out pressure on Britain for climate change through trade deal

The UK government, which is chairing November’s COP26 international climate talks, as well as Australia, have come under pressure As Sky News reported a leaked email on Wednesday A British trade “deputy director” alleged that UK Trade Secretary Quasi Quarteng had agreed that the Department for International Trade could “omit both climate questions”, including “context of the Paris Agreement’s temperature targets”.

CNN has not been able to verify the contents of the leaked email and UK officials have declined to confirm its authenticity, but when reporters in Canberra asked Morrison why Australia asked to exclude the temperature reference, Morrison – without confirming the Sky News story – said Australia wants to keep climate and trade issues separate.

“Well, it was about trade. It wasn’t a climate agreement, it was a trade agreement. And … in trade agreements, I deal with trade issues. In climate agreements, I deal with climate issues, He told a press conference Thursday, according to a readout Posted by his office.

“We’re pursuing agreements on clean energy technology with a large number of countries, and we’ll have agreements about that. But the important agreement we’ve made is when we signed in Paris, and the commitments that We have achieved ie. Those commitments are clear,” he said.

The Sky News report suggested that the issue hinges on whether to explicitly mention the goal of keeping global warming at 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement obliges countries to try to limit the average global temperature rise to 2 °C, with the priority being closer to 1.5 °C.

The UK’s Department of International Trade backtracked on Sky’s reporting on Wednesday, saying it was “completely untrue” that the deal would not “sign up” to the commitments made in the Paris Agreement.

“Our ambitious trade agreement with Australia will include an important article on climate change that reaffirms the commitments of both sides to the Paris Agreement and achieves its goals, including limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Any suggestions This deal will not sign these important commitments are completely untrue,” the statement said.

But when asked specifically by CNN whether “1.5°C” would be included in the agreement, the department said it would not disclose the details of the talks. Quarteng’s office did not comment on the reports and directed CNN for a statement from the Department of Trade.

other free trade agreements signed by the United Kingdom, such as the one with the European Union, clearly mention 1.5°C.

Morrison says ‘Australia is doing it’ on climate

Asked about Australia’s stance on lowering the warming threshold to 1.5 °C, Morrison pointed only to the Paris Agreement, which includes a 2 °C target.

“We have signed our commitments under the Paris Agreement. We will meet them. We will defeat them,” he said.

He said that while other countries were still making commitments, “Australia is doing it. Australians are doing it. Australians are doing business.”

“And that’s the story we can tell to the rest of the world. Aussies, we just get on with it and we are.”

The comments will be a new headache for COP26 chairman Alok Sharma, a British MP who is traveling the world trying to meet commitments to 1.5°C ahead of November’s talks in Glasgow. He had just concluded a visit to China, during which he stressed the importance of signing up to a more ambitious limit.

His office would not comment on the trade deal to CNN.

A source told CNN during a recent G20 ministerial meeting that many fossil fuel-producing countries were opposing a more ambitious limit on global warming. China has openly accused the West of trying to move the goal posts to the target of 2 degrees.

Australia is the world’s second largest exporter of coal and its resources minister Keith Pitt said last week Will continue to extract and export fossil fuels Beyond 2030, a senior UN climate official, in response to Selwyn Hart, warned that the climate crisis would “wreak havoc” on the Australian economy.

Sharma is also striving for developed countries to end the use of coal unabated by the end of the decade, which is burned without capturing the carbon emitted.

A member of Britain’s main opposition Labor Party – Ed Miliband, who oversees business in the political shadow opposition – criticized the UK government for succumbing to Australia’s pressure on the climate.

“Australia is one of the world’s biggest polluters and is key to the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. But instead of pressuring them, the government has just rolled over,” He wrote on Twitter.

Morrison made his remarks after Dan Tehan, Australia’s Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment The country “remains consistent” in ensuring all of its trade agreements meet “existing multilateral environmental commitments”.

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which sent the statement Tehan did not respond to CNN’s question about whether “1.5 degrees Celsius” would be mentioned in the trade deal.

The UK-Australia trade deal was agreed in principle in June. This was seen as a success by both sides, and in particular the UK government, which sold the freedom to strike bilateral trade deals as a major advantage for leaving the EU.

There is increasing pressure on Australia to boost its climate commitments ahead of talks in Glasgow. The country is one of dozens that missed the July 31 deadline to improve its pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as the 2015 Paris Agreement signatories were obliged to do so.

The country has agreed to reduce emissions by between 26% and 28% by 2030 from 2005 levels, well short of renewed commitments by the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, among other developed countries. The Australian government has said it will extend its pledge ahead of talks in Glasgow.

Australia has a population of about 25 million people, and accounts for just over 1% of the world’s carbon emissions. But per capita, Australians emit more than 15 metric tons of carbon, World Bank data shows, similar to those in the United States, which is the world’s second largest carbon emitter and accounts for more than 14% of emissions. Is responsible.


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