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Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Tracking Australian Ministers and Australian pledges at COP28

This is a subpage of Australia at COP28 Climate Diary and will be updated throughout the conference.

Australia will be represented at the ministerial level at COP28 by Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen and Assistant Minister Jenny McAllister. Jenny McAllister has already been assigned a key role at the conference: co-facilitate with Chile’s Minister for the Environment, Maisa Rojas, outcomes on adaptation.

Why doesn't Prime Minister Albanese attend? Well COP28 is more of a technical conference focussed  on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, this year looking at the Global Stock Take, Implementing the Loss and Damage Fund, as well as mitigation and Adaptation work programs. 

Chris Bowen | Jenny McAllister | Pledges | climateambassador | Mayors

Australia's Pledges and Commitments

Global Stocktake

Negotiations/discussion: We understand Australia along with a number of parties including AILAC, AOSIS, EU, EIG, Norway, Canada, Ghana, UK, and Colombia, made strong statements calling for a fossil fuel phase down/out in their inputs to the Global Stocktake (GST) discussions.

Energy Transition

3 December - Australia is one of 116 countries that signed on to the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge (DCCEEW)

5 December - Australia joins the Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP) - also known as the Glasgow Statement. This will help end the billion dollar pipeline of taxpayer money to fossil fuel companies coming from federal export finance and foreign aid programs. Australia is joining at least 39 countries and institutions, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Fiji, to align international investment strategies with net zero priorities. (DCCEEW)(Jubilee Australia)

Climate and Health

3 December - Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney MP Launched Australia’s first National Health and Climate Strategy at the Australian Pavillion at COP28 (Climate Citizen)

Australia is one of 123 nationsthat have endorsed the COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health (PDF) Nothing too radical. The need to phase out Fossil fuels is not mentioned once. 

In comparison, the Australian Medical Association calls for No new fossil fuel projects, no fossil fuel money in politics. The AMA also called for an end to donations from the fossil fuel industry to political parties and for fossil fuel subsidies to be transitioned to renewable energy. “The AMA recognises climate change is a health emergency, with clear scientific evidence indicating severe impacts for humanity right now, and worsening into the future,” Professor Robson said. (AMA)

Food Systems and Agriculture

Australia is one of 134 nations that have signed UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action. More than $2.5 billion has been mobilized by the global community to support the food-climate agenda.  (Declaration PDF and signatories)

Climate Finance.

8 December - Australia pledges $150 million in climate finance. This will go to $100m to the Pacific Resilience Facility, a trust fund to invest in small-scale climate and disaster resilience projects, and $50m for the Green Climate Fund. Australia has not pledged any funding to the new Loss and Damage Fund established on the first day of COP28 (Guardian)(DCCEEW)

On 4 December an Adaptation Fund contributor Dialogue was held. Australia has so far has not made any contribution at all to the Adaptation Fund.

Australia has rejoined the Green Climate Fund, but is yet to make a promised 'modest' contribution.

Australia is yet to contribute to the Loss and Damage Fund (see below)

Loss and Damage Fund

On the first Day of COP the Loss and Damage Fund was established.  An initial group of countries announced contributions to the fund of more than $400 million: UAE $100 million, Germany $100 million, other European contributions of $145 million equivalent, UK $50.6 million equivalent, the United States $17.5 million, and Japan $10 million. During the Leaders summit, Canada pledged $60m, Italy and France pledging up to EUR 100 million each. No commitment so far from Australia.  

On the second day there was a Call for Australia to contribute $100 million to the new Loss and Damage Fund. Oxfam Australia, The Climate Action Network Australia, ActionAid Australia, Caritas Australia and Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education have welcomed the landmark announcement of the establishment of the Loss and Damage Fund at COP28, and call on Australia to make an initial $100 million pledge to the Fund. (Oxfam)

8 December - In a media interview Bowen was quizzed on contributing to the Loss and Damage Fund:

JOURNALIST: And has Australia decided that they will not be committing directly to the new Loss and Damage Fund.

CHRIS BOWEN: No, I've made the announcements I'm making today. We'll continue to engage with the Loss and Damage Fund. We asked for, for example, a minimum allocation for small island developing States and the least developed countries. It has been agreed there will be a minimum allocation. It has not yet been agreed what that percentage is, so we want to engage in that conversation going forward, and we'll see how that conversation goes. (DCCEEW transcript)

Chris Bowen

13 December - Final press conference with Chris Bowen and Jenny McAllister from Dubai (DCCEEW transcript)

MINISTER BOWEN: Well, I'm delighted to be joined by the New Zealand Minister Simon Watts and of course, my Australian colleague, Jenny McAllister.

This COP is a turning point, not an end point, but a turning point. It could have been a breakdown. Australia worked with New Zealand and so many other countries to make sure it's a breakthrough. This is a significant COP. When you think about the world’s significant COPs, this will be on the list.

This is the first time that fossil fuels have ever been mentioned in a COP decision. And that COP decision is that we will transition away from fossil fuels. That is no small thing. It sends a signal to the world’s markets, investors and businesses that this is the direction of travel for countries right around the world.

Last year was the first time renewable energy had been mentioned in a COP decision. And this year, we've decided to triple renewable energy, working together on our pledges. We all signed a pledge, more than 120 countries but also more than that, the decision coming together on tripling renewable energy in particular.

Also, for the first time a global adaptation goal, my colleague, the Assistant Minister, chaired those discussions. This, again, is a big deal. A goal working together, recognising the world has left it too late to stop climate change in its tracks that we need to adapt as well as mitigate, it’s a big thing.

So again, it was a delight to work with so many countries across the board, both as chair of the Umbrella Group and negotiating countries, but more broadly with our friends in the EU and in the Pacific. I say particularly the Pacific.

Of course, this decision is not what everybody would have written themselves as they got off the aeroplane. That's true of the Pacific as it's true Saudi Arabia, but it is a clear direction of travel. And for countries that are at the frontline of climate change, their voices are being heard. And as far as we, as long as we have anything to do with it will continue to be heard and continue to be heard even more loudly.

I’m going to ask Simon, to add a few remarks as part of our Anzac approach to this to this COP, and then Jenny will take a couple of questions. Simon.

MINISTER SIMON WATTS (New Zealand Minister for Climate Change): Thank you very much minister. And firstly, I want to acknowledge the leadership shown by Australia in bringing together I think, a consensus absolutely by that Umbrella Group and a large number of other countries that leadership has been critical in order for this consensus decision that we've seen here today.

I think what is important for our part of the world is a clear signal that this sends to the market. The fact that transitioning away from fossil fuels, is now the direction of travel and a time box around that sends a very clear signal to the market around what is going to be the trajectory from here.

For our Pacific Island neighbours, we have worked consistently with them, we stand shoulder to shoulder and that is critical. The challenge now is around implementation. Our countries are united in terms of our objective to get to that destination and where opportunities exist, we will work together in order to achieve that. But we are very positive going out of this COP. This is a step forward for the globe, and cannot be underestimated in terms of its significance to have all those countries on the same page. Thank you, Australia for leadership.

MINISTER BOWEN: Thank you Simon, Jenny.

ASSISTANT MINISTER MCALLISTER: My focus here, of course was co facilitating the discussions around the global goal on adaptation. Adaptation, of course refers to the way that we adapt to the changes, the climate changes that are now baked in and that we now cannot avoid.

We were delighted to be asked by presidency to support progress on this really important issue. The consultations began at UN climate week in New York, we continued them in Abu Dhabi, and we concluded them here.

What we heard consistently from parties is that a global goal is essential. And we need steps to articulate the targets for that goal and to measure our progress against it.

Incredibly important for Pacific neighbours, and the Pacific constantly tell us that this is deeply connected to our efforts to reduce emissions, every percentage of a degree of warming increases what we need to do to adapt to a changing climate. And that makes a significant difference across the globe. But of course in our region, and we were very proud to work with colleagues to obtain a resolution on this key question.

MINISTER BOWEN: Over to you folks.

JOURNALIST: Minister, can the small island states truly be said to have been heard, given that AOSIS wasn't in the room and the government [indistinct]?

MINISTER BOWEN: Look, you know, AOSIS had their contribution and it's not just about the plenary session. I mean, we kept in close contact with Pacific ministers from our negotiating position all the way through, as I said, you know, this decision is not as AOSIS would have written it, nor is it as China or Saudi Arabia or Russia would have written, it is a global consensus and consensus is difficult to reach.

But if you compare what we've just agreed this morning to what was on the table two nights ago, it is a world of change. And we ensured that the Pacific’s voices were heard in a conversation. That language about transition away from came from the PIF leaders meeting. And we put it on the table for conversation as a conversation starter say, Well, if people can't have phase out, how about this? Again, I'm not here to say that the Pacific or AOSIS, you know, got everything they asked for, I am here to say they are a very important part of the conversation.

JOURNALIST: What specifically is not in the agreement that needs to be?

MINISTER BOWEN: Well, I mean, it's a matter of public record that we've suggested certain things about fossil fuels, etc. But we're very satisfied with the outcome. Again, there are things have been in and out. And you know, if Simon and Jenny and I were writing statements, it would be different. As I keep saying that's the case for every single participant, every single participant. I'm very pleased with this outcome. And I think it gives us a real, a real board from which to jump to the next phase in future COPs. This is a big step forward from Glasgow from Sharm el Sheikh, we have managed to build on that, on that platform.

JOURNALIST: Is there a message out of this for Australia’s fossil fuel producers?

MINISTER BOWEN: Read the text, read the text, and I think the text is very clear, the decision of the world is very clear here. And Australia, as you know, wants to be a renewable energy powerhouse, we want to create the energy for ourselves and for our region and for the world. And that means thousands of good well paying jobs in Australia's regions. And the COP decision today gives us a very good ecosystem which to develop that plan.

JOURNALIST: Will they be encouraged to see gas sort of, or the identification of transitional fuels? At the last minute?

MINISTER BOWEN: You know, my position on this, we've dealt with this in Australia, ad nauseam, we going to 82% renewables, that still means 18% fossil fuels in the grid by 2030. The virtue of gas is that can turn on and off real quickly. I know that people say correctly, that, you know, gas still has emissions, absolutely it does, I’ll tell you what it doesn't have emissions when it's not switched on. And if you've got gas fired peakers backing up your 82% renewable system that are only turned on rarely. That is a big step forward for emissions reduction, a big step forward. So gas does have a role to play as we get to that 82% renewable that's reflected in our domestic position. And it's reflected in the global decision as well.

JOURNALIST: Nuclear is also in the text, will that give comfort to the Opposition?

MINISTER BOWEN: I mean, seriously, nuclear. I mean, 20 countries signed a nuclear pledge, more than 120 countries signed a renewable energy pledge and Ted O'Brien's big idea to get us international company is to join the pledge that 20 people signed and to get out of the pledge that more than 120 people signed. I mean, seriously.

And if you look at the commitment to renewable energy, which Ted O’Brien says he does not support, he said he will withdraw from the pledge on tripling renewables. It's in the text of the COP. I mean, he's just out of touch in Australia and out of out of touch in the world.

13 December - Chris Bowen as head of delegation and speaking for the Umbrella Group speaking at the COP28 Final Plenary

Speech Transcript at DCCEEW excerpt:

We have agreed to an ambitious new framework on the global goal on adaptation, which is very important, it elevates the role of adaptation, with globally applicable targets that lay out a direction of travel and galvanise action and support.

But undeniably, Mr President, the central part of our discussions at COP28 has been the future of fossil fuels in our energy systems.

Earlier this week we called for more than a step forward.

And today the world has stepped up.

The outcome does not go as far as many of us have asked for, starting with some of the most vulnerable countries, but the message it sends is clear.

That all nations of the world have acknowledged the reality that our future is in clean energy, and the age of fossil fuels will end. 

The Global Stocktake also shows that the nations of the world have come a long way under the Paris Agreement.

Eighty-seven percent of the global economy is now covered by a climate neutrality target and almost all countries have commitments to cut emissions.

But the Stocktake also shows that we have a long way to go – that we need a step change to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

The Stocktake affirms the latest science – that we will need to cut global emissions by 43% by 2030 and 60% by 2035.

We stand behind its call for future NDCs to be aligned with 1.5 degrees. This is the guiding “North Star” as countries prepare most ambitious NDCs. 

We stand behind its calls for NDCs to have economy-wide emission reduction targets, covering all sectors, gases, and categories.

We stand behind its call for a tripling of renewable energy, doubling of energy efficiency and substantially reducing non-CO2 emissions.

We must take every opportunity.


Mr President, just a few brief comments on Australia’s behalf, I want to personally recognise the role of the Pacific countries in this process.

The Pacific has long called for the highest possible ambition to keep 1.5 alive, and while this outcome today may not have fully met their calls, their voices are being heard.

The message from this COP on the urgency of the energy transition is loud and clear; we must now deliver.

12 December - Comments by Chris Bowen on GST Draft text released 5pm 11 Dec (Dubai time):

Report by Nick O'Malley, (Sydney Morning Herald):

Australian Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen, speaking on behalf of the Umbrella Group of nations, which includes the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway and Canada, told the COP that the group could not sign the agreement as it stood.

“Some of the world’s largest economies have now called for a phase out of unabated fossil fuels,” Bowen said. “Some of the world’s smallest countries have now called on us to transition away from fossil fuels in an orderly and just manner. The rest of us should find it within ourselves to join them.

“The draft text, with respect, does not do that.”

He noted that Samoan resources minister Cedric Schuster, the chair of the Association of Small Island States, said vulnerable nations would not sign their own death certificate.

“We will not co-sign it,” he said. “We are a very diverse group but we are very united tonight.”

11 December - Press Conference with Chris Bowen

Where we've come from is of course, we came to this COP with the G7 having agreed to a phase out of unabated fossil fuels in energy systems by 2050, a position that the Umbrella group decided to support which I chair obviously, at the beginning of the negotiations, contrary to an erroneous report I read suggesting the Umbrella group does not support that position, let me make it very clear - the Umbrella group supports the phase out of fossil fuels of energy systems by 2050, that's very important - that group of United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Israel, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Japan, Iceland, and Norway.

Now, of course, what's most important is that this COP finishes with a commitment to keep 1.5 degrees of warming alive. And we all know that the future of fossil fuels is key to that ambition. That is the key test for COP, keeping 1.5 alive and having an appropriate decision in the text about the future of fossil fuels. So we've engaged in very good faith knowing that there are countries that respectfully, I say, have a different view. Saudi Arabia, for example, is on the public record as having a very different view. I've engaged with the Saudi Arabia Minister over the course of last 24 hours, talking through the issues, one of the many bilateral discussions that we have in these negotiations. We've made it very clear, we will support the COP Presidency, who is looking for a good outcome on finding a way which maximises the chance for a successful outcome of this COP and the future of fossil fuels is the key to that. Consistent of course, with our domestic approach, building to 82% renewables, the Capacity Investment Scheme, moving, ensuring very clearly from the government's point of view, no new coal fired power generation in Australia, working with countries on their transition.

Some countries are at a different pace in the transition, we’re working with Germany, for example, on joint funding of green hydrogen, working with Korea and Japan on their energy futures and ensuring that we are continuing to be a good and reliable energy supplier whilst working with them on the decarbonisation of their grids. So this is where we're up to, as I said at the outset, we'll see the draft decision tax shortly. Ministers are engaging in good faith and goodwill, working very, very closely with Ministers across the board, those Ministers with whom we’re like-minded in the Umbrella group and the EU in particular. And those Ministers for which we have a different perspective, where we're trying to find common ground and a good way forward. Whether we succeed or not, of course, we'll know in the next 24 hours or so.

But we’ll leave nothing on the field, we come to this COP determined to return Australia's place as a respected, constructive leader, as we should, as a country with a great economic potential as a renewable energy superpower, and as a constructive international citizen. That's what we came to do. That's what we're doing. That's what we did well into the night last night and what we'll be doing over the next 24 hours. As I said, I do have a busy schedule, but I am of course happy to take a few questions.

"CHRIS BOWEN: Look, we've been engaging in very good faith. You know, I’ve referred to the Sunnylands Declaration in my discussions, I’ve referred to the PIF language in my discussions, you know, there are many, many ways to skin the cat. What we want to see is a strengthening of the international efforts on fossil fuels and mitigation. And we've, you know, we've outlined our position, our suggestion of phase out of unabated, fossil fuels in line with the G7, in line with all Umbrella Group members. I mean, in the Majlis yesterday, there were Ministers of Norway and United Kingdom, both Umbrella Group members, had very similar speeches, to me very similar contributions, they weren’t speeches, we were asked to do it without notes, in the spirit of a proper engagement, very similar contributions to mine. There's a lot of goodwill, a lot of goodwill around the COP, a lot of goodwill amongst the like-minded. The Umbrella Group, I chaired a meeting yesterday of Umbrella Group Ministers and EU Ministers together, comparing notes on our negotiating strategies, a lot of goodwill, a lot of alignment, a lot of determination to give the COP presidency the support, he needs to get the job done." (DCCEEW transcript)

10 December - During Majlis (Council) @Bowenchris  "(Australia): stresses the need to phase out fossil fuel use (not production...) and that abatement should be the "goalkeeper" or the "backstop" and not an excuse to delay action. Stands in soldiarity with Pacific neighbors," according to Romain Ioualalen (@Rlalen)

ENB interpreted Bowen saying: "AUSTRALIA emphasized aligning NDCs with the 1.5°C target, tripling renewable energy, doubling energy efficiency, and ensuring fossil fuels have no ongoing role.

The Guardian reports on Bowen at Majlis:

He said global emissions must peak by 2025 and be cut by 43% by 2030 and 60% by 2035 compared with 2019 levels, and that renewable energy should be tripled by 2030. “I think that should be reflected in the outcome,” he said.

“We also must face this fact head on: if we are to keep 1.5C alive, fossil fuels have no ongoing role to play in our energy systems – and I speak as the climate and energy minister of one of the world’s largest fossil fuel exporters. And we embrace that fact and acknowledge it because we also live in the Pacific, and we are not going to see our brothers and sisters inundated and their countries swallowed by the seas.”

Bowen said there were “many ways” the language adopted at the talks could reflect that fossil fuels did not have a future, and told the president: “We’ll be flexible with you to find the pathway to give you the chance you need to write that into history.”

Bowen said talking about abatement of fossil fuels in a deal should not be seen as a justification for countries to just keep using them. “We don’t need to phase out fossil fuel emissions, we need to end the use of fossil fuels in our energy systems, with abatement as a backstop and goalkeeper, not as an excuse for delay or inaction,” he said.

9 December - Chris Bowen speaks at Majlis event


8 December: answering a journalist question on Fossil fuel phaseout: (DCCEEW transcript)

In terms of phasing out fossil fuels, of course I want to see a big step forward there at this COP, and I'm actively participating in those discussions with my counterparts, both with the COP President, Dr Al Jaber, and like mindeds, particularly in the Umbrella Group which I Chair.

So we want to see a big step forward on the language on phasing out of fossil fuels. Whether we get there or not, the coming days will tell. But it is important, and it sends an important symbol.

8 December - questioned on Opposition push for nuclear energy and lifting the nuclear prohibition, responded: (DCCEEW transcript)

They're in a different world. I mean nuclear energy is not involved in the multilateral conversations. When I meet with counterparts, even those who are nuclear countries say, "If I had your renewables, your renewable potential, I wouldn't be going down the nuclear road." They're off on a fantasy, it's a pipe dream wrapped in a fantasy, accompanied by an illusion, nuclear power for Australia, and I don't have time for distractions.

We have 73 months to 2030. Even the National Party and the Liberal Party now apparently accept that a nuclear power station in Australia could not open by 2030. I mean it's completely irrelevant for the conversation about 2030, and as I said before, David Littleproud says, "Oh, we can start in 2045 or something, you know, we've got time."  We don't have time. He's wrong. He's wrong on reliability, he's wrong on the climate, he's dead plain wrong.

7 December - Ammonia fuelled shipping? Australian climate change minister, Chris Bowen, toured Andrew Forrest's Fortescue metals Group (FMG) Green Pioneer ship on Thursday, and the US special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry, is scheduled to headline an onboard event “to celebrate the beginning of the era of pollution free shipping” on Friday. (Guardian) The Green Pioneer arrived in Dubai on 2 December (Fortescue)

Australian Ambassador for Climate Change Kristin Tilley toured the vessel on December 3:

6 December - From the Guardian on supporting Fossil Fuel Phase out:

Speaking on ABC Radio’s AM on Wednesday, Bowen said he would support a “properly phrased move” towards language that fossil fuels should be phased out across the globe.

Australian government submissions to the UN have previously indicated support for a phase out of “unabated fossil fuels” – that is, fossil fuels that do not have their emissions cut in some other way.

But Bowen told the ABC that China and African countries had already said they were not comfortable with “phase out” language, and the negotiations were difficult.

Previous climate summits have agreed only to a phase down of unabated coal power, and a phase out of “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies. Oil and gas were not specifically mentioned.

Bowen said he would push for stronger language. “We need to see a step up in global action on mitigating emissions,” he said.

30 November - Minister Chris Bowen was interviewed by Sarah Ferguson of the ABC News 7.30 report in the evening after delivering Australia's 2nd annual climate statement. He was asked specifically about Australia's position on fossil fuel phaseout at COP28. An excerpt of the interview:

SARAH FERGUSON:  I want to talk about the climate change conference that opens today. The biggest debate there is going to be over the push for a global agreement on phasing out oil and gas mid-century. Would Australia, will Australia sign up to such an agreement?

CHRIS BOWEN:  We certainly support a strengthening of global action. Absolutely and I'll be very actively engaged in those conversations.

SARAH FERGUSON:  This time, let's just stick with the question. Will Australia support what is going to be a debate at COP to reach an agreement on phasing out coal and gas mid-century?

CHRIS BOWEN:  Well, that is the question, and with respect Sarah, is how do we strengthen the world's efforts and I'll be supporting, on behalf of Australia, sensible steps unlike previous arrangements where Australia was in bad company. I'll be in very good company arguing for a strengthening of the language.

Now I chair the umbrella group of climate change ministers. So I'll be working with my colleagues. So the only call so far from the COP president has been to triple renewable energy investment and double energy efficiency. I support that. I'll be supporting that at the negotiation table.

We need to see what we're signed up for, but Australia will be right in there in a leadership role, arguing for stronger mitigation around the world which is a big change to how we have behaved the last nine years.

SARAH FERGUSON:  What are you going to say to what is called the high ambition coalition countries who are driving this agenda when they ask you why Australia is still approving extended coalmines and new gas projects?

CHRIS BOWEN:  When I'm involved in international conversations, Sarah, it takes quite a different tone to the one that you've just put to me. There's respect for the role Australia brings. And yes, a traditional fossil fuel economy. Yes, we are and we need traditional fossil fuel economies as part of the conversation. We're the very type of economy we need making the transition.

SARAH FERGUSON:  I don't doubt this is a respectful engagement, but you know what happens at COP, it gets more and more tense as the days go on. That question is going to be put to you at some point, what Australia's plans are with regards to its fossil fuel projects?

CHRIS BOWEN:  Australia's plans are to become a renewable energy superpower, Sarah, and to help the world decarbonise through green hydrogen and renewable energy and there's huge interest, there's huge interest in Australia's transition.

We have plenty of land, of renewable energy, of skills. Other countries don't have that. We can actually help the world decarbonise.

Our domestic emissions are very important, even more important is how we can help other countries decarbonise by developing our green hydrogen industry through our Hydrogen Headstart $2 billion policy for example. Our hydrogen hubs which I have a been announcing over recent weeks, for example, to develop that export capacity which actually helps the world decarbonise, that is before we even get to our critical minerals which are also essential to the world's decarbonisation.

SARAH FERGUSON:  You know as well as anybody listening to this conversation that we still have to be cutting emissions? We have got, I think, 16 new projects last time I looked that have reached final financial decisions. This conversation is going to come up at the conference about decisions that Australia is making with regards to new gas and extended coal projects.

CHRIS BOWEN:  And again, Sarah, my international colleagues understand the complexities of such discussions. They understand for example that green steel is coming but it's not here yet, so we still need metallurgical coal. We need a lot more, we need a lot steel as part of the transition because the transition will require a lot of steel.

That will, as we speak, require a lot of coal. That's just a statement of fact, metallurgical coal and my world counterparts all understand that, and they know that Australia produces that metallurgical coal.

Australia's general stance and negotiating position was outlined in a speech by Chris Bowen to the Lowy Institute on 21 November - Climate Minister Chris Bowen explains Australia's priorities for COP28 (Climate Citizen

Also ‘Vulnerable’ Pacific countries must get maximum benefit from ‘loss and damage’ fund, Australian climate minister says (Guardian)

Jenny McAllister

15 September - Key Adaptation role for Australia at COP28
Senator Jenny McAllister, Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy,  will co-facilitate with Chile’s Minister for the Environment, Maisa Rojas, outcomes on adaptation (DCCEEW media release)

Climate Ambassador

The work of diplomatic staff is often in the background talking with politicians and with other national diplomatic staff and negotiators. With the November 2022 appointment of Kristin Tilley as Australia's climate ambassador there is noticeable change in public engagement and tone.

Australian Mayors

6 December - Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp on Transport featured in a panel discussion at the Australian Pavillion at the UN Climate Conference COP28 in Dubai. The Topic: Collaborative strategies and plans for net zero transport and infrastructure. She discussed the expansion of bike lanes and the reaction.

"Reducing transport emissions requires concerted action across governments and industry to secure long lasting benefits, while managing and minimising the impacts of the transition. The session is focused on transport sector decarbonisation planning, featuring governments and industry and other stakeholders to discuss what is being done to advance transport decarbonisation through integrated strategies, plans and cooperation." Presented by the Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.

(Youtube - DCCEEW Events Channel)

Hobart's Lord Mayor has visited the Cryosphere Pavillion at COP28. I wonder if Climate Minister Chris Bowen will pay a visit? It might inspire him for Australia to support Fossil Fuel phaseout this decade as part of the Global Stocktake and in the cover decision..

There are now 100 cities globally that have endorsed a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Cities in Australia that have formally endorsed the Fossil Fuel Treaty proposal and are signatories of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy include:

  • Sydney, Australia
  • Hobart, Australia
  • Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • City of Darebin, Australia
  • City of Maribyrnong, Australia
  • City of Merri-bek, Australia
  • City of Yarra, Australia
Anna Reynolds, Lord Mayor of Hobart, Tasmania said, 
“Cities are leading the way on climate action. Thousands of cities around the world have set ambitious targets and are slashing emissions, often well beyond what national governments are doing. But our positive efforts are undermined by those countries and companies that are expanding fossil fuel production. My nation, Australia produces nearly twice the amount of fossil fuels that COP28 host, the UAE, does. And we export nearly three times’ as much fossil fuels as they do! As city leaders we need to join the campaign to rapidly phase out fossil fuels. Our voices and our leadership are needed to tackle the major cause of the climate crisis.”

Cr Nuatali Nelmes, Lord Mayor of the City of Newcastle was a registrant. 

Queensland Deputy Premier on Methane

6 December - ABC article looks at Australians attending COP28 concerned with methane reduction including Sea Forest boss Sam Elsom and Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles. Australia has already committed to the voluntary pledge to cut methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030. Australia is also known to be under-reporting methane emissions by 50 per cent.

Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles was upbeat.

Queensland is one of the biggest sources of methane emissions in Australia courtesy of its coal-seam gas industry, its coal mines and the state's massive cattle herd.

Despite this, he stresses resource companies are trying to prevent fugitive methane emissions.

"Similarly, our agriculture department is really working at the cutting edge of how they can work with our farmers to reduce their carbon and other greenhouse gas footprints of their food production," Mr Miles said.

"At the end of the day, food production is going to continue to be very important.

"So we need to find ways to do that with a lower greenhouse gas footprint."

Australia at COP

From Fossil Ad Ban newsletter, 8 December 2023:

There are more than 400 Australian delegates including three from the Minerals Council of Australia.

The Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, whose members include the Minerals Council, gas lobbyist Australian Energy Producers, and other big polluters had two delegates, including the Head of Corporate Affairs for Glencore, the world's biggest coal exporter.

The official Australian delegation included the 'Low Carbon Policy and Advocacy Manager' for BP.

Where was Santos you may ask? They had their own display at COP26, selling the greenwashing fiction of carbon capture and storage (CCS). Well, Santos didn't need to be there because it had just signed a deal with the UAE's state petroleum company ADNOC to explore burying its carbon in Australia. You read that right.

Federal and State MPs attending COP

Besides Chris Bowen and Senator Jenny McAllister a number of other Federal MPs, state MPs and Mayors attended COP. 

Opposition climate change and energy spokesman Ted O’Brien was there, as was Ms. Sussan Ley, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and member for Farrer.

Coalition for Conservation, led by Cristina Talacko, which supports developing nuclear energy to cut emissions, brought a number of federal Coalition MPs: Kevin Hogan and senators Bridget McKenzie, Andrew Bragg and Dean Smith.

Anna Rose lead a second group focused on encouraging conservative politicians to embrace climate action. That group includes federal MP and opposition minister Paul Fletcher, Senator Maria Kovacic, NSW opposition ministers Matt Kean and Kellie Sloane, NSW upper house member Jacqui Munro, and Queensland opposition ministers Sam O’Connor and Steve Minnikin.

Other MPs found on the list of registrants included:

Senator David Van

The Hon Susan Close,Deputy Premier of South Australia, 

Mr. David Kelly, Member for Bassendean in WA Parliament, 

Hon Steven Miles Queensland Deputy Premier, 

Mr. Samuel O'Connor, Shadow Minister for Environment & the Great Barrier Reef, (QLD)

Ms. Kellie Sloane, Shadow Minister for Environment (NSW)

Mr. David Southwick, Shadow Minister for Major Projects Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment and Member for Caulfield (VIC)

Mr. Christopher Tallentire.Member for Thornlie and Chair of the Education and Health Standing Committee (WA)

Hon Reece Whitby Minister (WA)


See Tracking Australian Ministers and Australian pledges at COP27

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