Monday, 14 November 2016

For a barrister Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is surprisingly imprecise with words

For a barrister Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is surprisingly imprecise with words so often, one has to suspect that this is a deliberate ploy.

This was Prime Minister Turnbull in The Guardian on 10 November 2016:

Malcolm Turnbull has signalled Australia will not seek to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement even if the US president-elect, Donald Trump, follows through on his threat to cancel the emissions reductions commitments made by Barack Obama last December.

Turnbull on Thursday confirmed Australia had ratified the Paris agreement despite domestic opposition from the One Nation party, a critical Senate bloc for the government, and persistent climate change scepticism roiling within Coalition ranks…..

“My government is committed to [the Paris agreement]. We have ratified it,” he said.

This was the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website that same day – clearly showing that although Australia had signed the Paris Agreement there are as yet no instruments of “ratification, acceptance or approval.”:

This is borne out by the following media release stating a future intent only:

JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON TREATIES Inquiry into Paris Agreement and the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol

Issue date: Monday, 7 November 2016

7 NOVEMBER, 2016

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has today recommended that Australia ratify the Paris Agreement.

Committee Chair, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, says that the Agreement has received overwhelming support both internationally and here in Australia.

“The Paris Agreement has been welcomed as a positive step forward on an issue that is of global concern.”

“Although Australia faces challenges as we transition to a low-carbon economy, there are also many opportunities. We have expertise in responding to extreme weather events which will be in demand worldwide. We also have a rich supply of the mineral resources needed for the manufacture and development of renewable technology. And, of course, we have abundant renewable power resources with our sun, wind and hydro power.”

The Paris Agreement was adopted on 12 December 2015 by 192 countries. It opened for signatures in New York on 22 April 2016, and received the required signatures from 55 countries covering 55 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions on 5 October 2016. The agreement came into force on 4 November 2016.

The aim of the Paris Agreement is to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C and to attempt to limit the increase to 1.5°C. Australia’s commitment is to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels of greenhouse emissions by 2030.

In fact Malcolm Turnbull has left himself enough wriggle room to quietly delay or avoid this ratification indicating Australia’s consent to be bound by the Paris Agreement if the influential right wing nut jobs in the Liberal and National parties further threaten his position as prime minister.

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