Monday, December 04, 2023

Climate Change: Fossils

When the new government promised to allow new offshore oil and gas exploration, they were warned that there would be international criticism and reputational damage. Naturally, they arrogantly denied any possibility that that would happen. And then they finally turned up at COP, to criticism from Palau, and a "fossil of the day" award. And that's just the first few days!

Meanwhile, in more evidence of the government's denier trend, yesterday they refused to sign the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge, which would have committed us to work with other countries to triple renewable energy and double the rate of energy efficiency improvements. These are global targets, with a big "national circumstances" clause - which for us includes the fact that ~90% of our electricity generation is already renewable. Many of the specific commitments are things like easier permitting, which are strongly aligned with the new government's program. So you'd think signing up for it would be a no-brainer, what MFAT calls an easy win: a reputational boost with no downside (and supporting global collective action as well). But apparently not. The hostility of the new government to anything "green" is such that they won't even sign up for the easiest, most obvious, least-cost action. Instead, they'd rather shred our international reputation and risk trade sanctions with a purely ideological call to keep on drilling in the face of global apocalypse. And then they wonder why people think they're fossils...