Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to a group of diplomats, the EU and USA will punish Australia with carbon sanctions if we don’t play their climate game. But the weak response to Russia suggests this is an empty bluff.
Australian action climate change and why our national security and future prosperity rely on it
By Janaline Oh
April 18 2022 – 5:30am
Australia’s future prosperity and national security will depend on lifting its game on climate action. Over 100 former Australian ambassadors, high commissioners, trade commissioners, diplomats and development specialists issued a climate-focused foreign policy in December 2021, calling on the government to take immediate, ambitious steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to restore Australia’s international standing on this issue.
Diplomats for Climate Action Now recently signed a joint letter, with four other professional groups, asking the incoming prime minister to make climate action the government’s top priority through a national mobilisation.
Why would we do this? The job of a diplomat is to represent the government of the day abroad, to understand our international partners and to advise the Australian government on how best to prosecute its policies. We do not usually weigh into domestic policy debates.
But climate change is not a domestic issue. It is a global issue which poses a significant threat to Australia’s national security and future economic prosperity. We have seen the effects of climate change in abundance over recent years, with drought, the devastating Black Summer and recent Western Australian bushfires, and catastrophic flooding in Queensland and NSW.
In fact, Australia can benefit from our potential to generate cheap and abundant renewable energy to create a sustainable, high productivity, export economy. Australia’s reliance on raw commodity exports has led to heavy dependence on a single market: Australia sends more product by value to China than to the six next largest export destinations.
The European Union and United States are now preparing to apply carbon border adjustment taxes – effectively a carbon price on imports from countries that are not taking effective measures against climate change. We will have a carbon price imposed on Australian goods, but it will not accrue to the benefit of the Australian people.
…Read more: https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7701834/national-security-and-future-prosperity-rely-on-climate-action/
The open letter from the diplomats (link);
Given how weak and pathetic the EU leaderships’ response to Russia has been, the EU’s utter dependence on resource imports, my challenge to EU leaders about carbon border taxes is – bring it on.
Right now shipments of abundant Australian natural gas are steaming towards EU ports. There are plenty of other customers who would love to receive that gas, the entire world is currently suffering a capacity shortfall. If EU leaders don’t want our fossil fuel, let us know, so we can divert our ships elsewhere.
As for the USA, even if Biden does manage to impose carbon border taxes on Australia which drive up prices for US consumers, I don’t think we will have long to wait until they are repealed.