Australia


From left we’ve got Mike, then that’s a windswept me (!), Phil and Matt. We’re standing in front of Parliament House in our nation’s capital, Canberra on a freezing cold winter’s day. But, as you can see, we’re grinning through the cold!

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I'd like to introduce you to some friends of mine

On Monday 31 August, the four of us road tripped it from Sydney to Canberra to meet with our government’s Ambassador for Climate Change, the lead negotiator at the UN climate talks, Louise Hand. To talk about, you guessed it, climate change! (more…)

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Dear Climate Friends,

I am sorry for the late follow up on the week that was the UN climate talks in Bonn… but when you are “afloat on a sea of brackets,” (Yvo de Boer, UN climate chief) time and space become rather distorted….

another week... another wrap

another week... another wrap

As you know, we were watching out (with baited breath and crossed fingers) for progress on some key areas during the Bonn 3 talks, namely:

  • condensing the “indigestible” set of proposals into a manageable document
  • meaningful discussion on emission reduction targets
  • finance proposals from developed countries

So, how did those 3 areas track?…

(more…)

… or I’ll eat my shorts

Pcific

Dear climate friends,

My role, as your tracker, is to closely follow the Australian delegation, and report back to you what they are saying, doing and championing on our behalf. At key moments in time, I will also ask that you join together with me to put pressure on those very people making decisions about our futures, about the future of our world.

Very important I hear you say, but what’s  this talk about shorts? You’ll have to read to the end to find out…

Yesterday, here in Australia, the senate voted down the Government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. While some say this is a loss for our climate, I say this is an opportunity for our Government to upgrade Australia’s climate change policy, and commit to an emissions reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. Now, more than ever before, is the time to raise our concerns loudly to our political representatives and let our government know we want to see Australia be a global climate leader and take the level of action historical responsibility demands.

So, to that end, I have worked with various NGO friends here in Australia to come up with a call to action (see below). Right now we are distributing this ask widely through our e-networks. Can you help us to get this message out even wider?

How to take action

(more…)

The time difference between our beloved big red nation and Europe means that as I turn on my computer each morning, bleary eyed with caffeine hit in hand, I find that my inbox has dramatically swelled from the night before and I’m hit in one fell swoop with all the action that unfolded at the UN climate negotiations in Bonn the day (our night) before. 

Again, the joy of time difference means that this morning, my co-tracker from the USA, Reed Schuler, had written a sensationally succinct and informative update on the negotiations, before I’ve even finished my first latte! Check it out here, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

But obviously Reed, being an American, didn’t provide any Australiana flavour, so I have below…

Break the gridlock: it's time to get a figure on the table

Break the gridlock: it's time to get a figure on the table

Money, money, money

Everyone knows that tackling climate change is going to be expensive, but, compared to the cost of inaction, it’s a bargain basement deal. Money is integral to tackling climate change, but with no decent finance offering on the table from rich developed nations there is no way we will get a deal in Copenhagen. I know that I don’t need to go into why that will be catastrophic, you guys are well aware.

So, I was pleased to hear that during the finance meeting on Tuesday the Australian delegation, amongst others, made some good noises. The Australian delegation stated that the scaling up of finance and the building of capacity to spend that money effectively needed to be substantially worked upon. And that, I quote, “more needs to be done sooner rather than later”. I think I can safely say we all agree with that!!

Unfortunately, Australia didn’t take this opportunity to put any figures on the table about the scale of money that is required to address climate change globally.

(more…)

I’d like you to come on a journey with me from the Hotel Maritim in Bonn, Germany, to the forests of Indonesia, to government offices in New Zealand, to north Queensland in Australia, and back again… so strap yourself in…

Journey with me: climate change is truly a global issue

Journey with me: climate change is truly a global issue

Yvo de Boer, the UN’s top climate official, officially opened the Bonn 3 negotiations on Monday, in the main hall of Hotel Maritim, with this comment: “We’ve got a 200-plus-page text riddled with square brackets (where issues are unresolved), and it worries me to think how on earth we’re going to whittle that down to meaningful language with just five weeks of negotiating time left.”

Hey, that’s exactly what I said! Do you think Yvo’s been reading my blogs? (more…)

Next week (August 10-14) government representatives from all around the world will again come together in Bonn, Germany, for the latest round of UN climate change negotiations.

I wont be on the ground at Bonn3, but I'll still track the Australian delegation closely

I wont be on the ground at Bonn3, but I'll still track the Australian delegation closely

While I wont be on the ground during the Bonn meetings (trying to minimise air travel!), I’ll be in close contact with various NGO colleagues, Jonathan our Swedish tracker, as well as the Australian government delegation – who are all attending the talks – to bring you the latest news, as it happens.

Do you have a question that you would like to me to address to any of my contacts? If so, I want to hear from you! Please post your question as a comment on this blog.

Everyone who followed the Adopt-A-Negotiator blogs, during the June Bonn meetings, will know that the key task government delegates were set, was to get all of the ideas various countries have about addressing climate change into the one negotiating text. During the two week meeting, the negotiating text swelled from a manageable 50, to a whopping 199 pages, as everyone scrambled to ensure their ideas were included.

So, what’s on the table for the upcoming Bonn negotiations?

According to Michael Zammit Cutajar, chairman of a working group of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), negotiators have been charged with the task to edit an “indigestible” set of proposals into a manageable document for international consideration. Check out Cutajar’s ‘scenario note’ for a detailed look at what he has tasked delegates to do.

Good luck I say, turning 199 pages of “indigestible” text into something that is manageable will be no easy feat.

But, from where I sit, what is more important than the length of the negotiating text is content. (more…)

Have you heard the news? Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has just launched his blogging career, and like the Adopt-A-Negotiator trackers, he’s writing on climate change.

kevactnowbanner

He’s asking for Australians to share their ideas with him, he wants to know: “how do you think we can make Australians more aware that we need to act on climate change now?”

This is a really exciting opportunity for you to share the concerns and ideas that you have shared with me through the Adopt-A-Negotiator blog.

Kev’s only taking comments on his climate change blog for a short time, the deadline is 5pm (AEST) on July 22. So, we’ve got to get our skates on!

How to make your voice heard:

  • Go and read the PM’s blog on his website
  • Post a comment on his blog
  • When you post your comment, let Kev know that you are tracking the Australian government through the International climate change negotiations via the Adopt-A-Negotiator project. Who knows, he might take the time to check out some of our blogs!
  • Copy and paste the ideas and concerns you share with Kev as a comment on this blog post. That way we can continue to inspire and motivate each other.

This is a great opportunity for all of us to speak, and more importantly, be heard. I am looking forward to hearing what you guys have to say!

Together, change is possible.

Cara

PS. I also blog on another website called A Climate for Change – it’s an on-line community of people from all around the world who care about climate change. You can check out the comments that members of A Climate for Change have sent to Kevin Rudd here. They’re well worth the read!

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