Monday, December 9, 2019

Tracking Australia's Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor at COP25



I established this page to track Australian Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor at the UN Climate Conference, but with current events surrounding this scandal plagued minister his attendance at COP25 is still up in the air.

Minister Angus Taylor plane arrived on Sunday.


There is an official Australian function on Monday night co-organised by Australia and Carbon Market Institute. His speech on behalf of Australia to the main plenary is scheduled for around 1pm on Wednesday, and will be webcast by the UNFCCC.



Angus Taylor set to lead Australian ministerial delegation at COP25?

The ministerial lead for Australia at COP25 was put forward to be Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor. He is currently under investigation because of a false accusation against the Sydney Lord Mayor based upon a doctored document about the travel expenditute of City of Sydney Council.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to stand down Angus Taylor from his ministerial dutes after NSW police launched a strike force to investiage the fake documents scandal. Without a pair being granted by Labor, the Government faces the possibility of losing votes on the floor of the House of Representatives if Minister Taylor travels to Europe.

Australia could go without ministerial representation, which would leave Australia out of the backroom negotiating deals - a dangerous option considering Australia wants to 'do a deal' on Kyoto carbon credits. Or Foreign Minister Marise Payne could attend, or Environment Minister Sussan Ley. We might not know the outcome until the end of the first week when the high level sessions with Ministers are due to start.

The Federal Labor Opposition has now denied the beseiged Minister, Angus Taylor, a parliamentary pair to attend energy and climate events in Europe next week including COP25 in Madrid. The Greens in New South Wales have referred the police commissioner to the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) over a telephone conversation that Prime Minister made to the Police Commissioner over the investigation.

Now denied a "pariamentary pair", "Taylor will instead miss a ministerial meeting to be convened by the International Energy Agency in Paris, remaining in Canberra for the final sitting week, and will then head to Spain for the second week of the UN climate talks to be held in Madrid." writes Michael Marzengarb in Renew Economy.

Australia is a middle level diplomatic power, and chairs the Umbrella Negotiating Group, but from what I have heard the diplomatic team will be smaller than usual in Madrid COP25 lead by a new Ambassador for the Environment, career diplomat Jamie Isbister, and with only one Minister (Angus Taylor) present. There have been Cuts to Australia’s budget for diplomatic engagement. At least Australia has a small non-descript delegation office on site, at the Bonn conference 2 years ago the delegation office was in a room in the hotel.

Our Energy Minister is an anti-wind farm campaigner that has been involved in serial scandals over water mismanagement (Watergate), threatened grasslands and biodiverity poisining (Grassgate) and now the fake documents scandal involving Sydney City Council and Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

Simon Holmes ร  Court wrote in September 2018 that "Angus Taylor is not a climate science denier – he’s much more dangerous."

Read Guardian newspaper cartoonist First Dog on the Moon's take here:





New Australian Ambassador for the Environment

The Australia diplomatic delegation at the UN Climate Conference COP25 in Madrid will be lead by new Ambassador for the Environment Jamie Isbister.

He replaces Patrick Suckling who recently resigned. Patrick Suckling at COP24 in 2018 featured on a US sponsored forum promoting coal. It is refreshing to see that after he has left his diplomatic role he is calling for far more political ambition from Australian Government.



Australian intention to Use Kyoto Credits for Paris target

Australia intends to use Kyoto carry over credits to meet Australia's already very low climate target of 26-28 percent emissions reduction on 2005 levels by 2030. If this carbon accounting trick is allowed between two different climate treaties, Australia would halve it's announced effective target to about 15 per cent emissions reduction by 2030. Australia is expected to attempt to negotiate use of Kyoto Protocol carbon credits as part of the Article 6 negotiations at COP26.



Last year at COP24 in Katowice, Poland Australia received a Fossil of the Day Award for not ruling out Kyoto carbon credits for Paris target use.

It looks like the draft text has an option for forbidding use of Kyoto Protocol units to meet Paris Agreement Targets:



Comment by Mike Cannon Brooks...


The Guardian has highlighted that there are now 'anti-Australia' clauses in the negotiating text. (9 Dec, 2019 - About 100 countries at UN climate talks challenge Australia's use of carryover credits)

Bill Hare, the chief executive of Climate Analytics in Berlin and a long-time adviser to developing countries at climate talks, said using carryover credits was opposed by three major negotiating blocs – the alliance of small island states, the least developed countries group and the independent alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean – as well as Canada, Switzerland and Norway.

“There [are about] 100 countries supporting this [challenge],” Hare said from Madrid.

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