It’s telling that Prime Minister Scott Morrison could effectively hand Australia’s sovereignty and national security future to the US and the UK, and yet the two leaders of such nations still can’t convince Morrison to attend COP26.
Morrison is citing Pandemic difficulties, challenges in getting Australia to open up and noting that it would be another “trip overseas”.
“I’ve been on several this year, and I mean it is another trip overseas and I have been on several this year and spent a lot of time in quarantine,” he told The West Australia.
Morrison won’t attend the international climate summit that could determine everything for the future of life on Earth as we know it, because he doesn’t want to spend any more time sitting in The Lodge, a version of quarantine that’s vastly different from what most people experience coming into Australia, or even while self-isolating after coming in contact with a COVID positive case.
The UK has told Australia it will be “very disappointed” if Morrison fails to attend the Glasgow climate talks. British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell told ABC Radio National this week that “the time is now” for Australia to give a firm net-zero emissions commitment. She said that while the UK would “very much love” for Morrison to be there, they have not yet received any confirmation that he will attend.
But Morrison looks set to snub the summit. And while Foreign Minister Marise Payne is a firm no to attending, she said Australia will be strongly represented at the conference. The most senior of such representatives looks set to be Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister, Angus Taylor, who has previously stated there is nothing that “terrifies” him about climate change and resisted calls for zero-carbon targets that would put Australia more in line with the rest of the world.
As Martyn McLaughlin at The Scotsman wrote on Morrison’s potential COP26 snub, it seems like he can’t be bothered. If this is how the UK’s friends react to such an invitation and encouragement to attend, what then does it say for the UK’s enemies? McLaughlin also notes Morrison’s history of bringing lumps of coal into Parliament and describes him frankly as “an idiot.”
As we’ve previously written on Women’s Agenda over and over again, there are many reasons why Morrison can not be trusted on improving women’s safety and economic freedom and security. But one key reason that goes more under the radar is this stance on climate change and inability to break the convictions of Coalition party members in order to do what’s right and go to the international table to be a part of the solution. As Emily Regus writes for Women’s Agenda today, the impact of disasters discriminate. They can result in negative impacts on male and female gender roles and exacerbate existing safety issues for women.
You can’t claim to be a feminist, or an advocate for gender equality, or at least a man who believes he is supporting and listening to women, without taking an interest in climate change.
You also can’t claim to be giving significant thought to Australia’s future security, if you’re unwilling to fully participate in global climate talks. Pacific island leaders have been pleading with Australia to do more on climate. The UK is urging Morrison to attend these talks. It’s hard to think of a larger, potentially destabilizing force on international relations and global security, then climate change.
When Greta Thunberg this week declared that young people have seen thirty years of “blah blah blah” from world leaders, she made specific reference to Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron as leaders who discuss “building back better” and “green economy” and “net-zero by 2050”.
At least these leaders have something to say on climate change and are willing to go to the negotiating table.