Australia prime minister won’t commit more money to global climate fund

Australia prime minister won’t commit more money to global climate fund
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Australia's new prime minister says the country will no longer contribute to a global fund that assists developing countries with climate change adaptation and that Australia is not bound to any previous emissions-cutting promises.

Asked if his country would be held to the target established under the landmark Paris climate agreement to reduce emissions between 26 and 28 percent from 2005 levels, Scott Morrison told Australian radio station 2GB Radio on Sunday, “No, we won’t … we’re not held to any of them at all.”

"Nor are we bound to go and tip money into that big climate fund," he added, referring to the Green Climate Fund. "We’re not going to do that either. I’m not going to spend money on global climate conferences and all that nonsense.”

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Australia gave $200 million to the fund between 2015 and 2018.

Morrison, who became prime minister in August, made the comments hours before the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a momentous report that predicted catastrophic consequences if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced significantly.

The report was conducted at the behest of negotiators for the Paris climate agreement who asked the IPCC to study what must be done in order to limit climate rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.

It found that emissions reductions pledged in 2015 as part of the Paris climate agreement would not be enough to protect the planet from the worst effects of global warming.

While Morrison stopped short of saying he planned to pull Australia from the Paris accord — something many conservative lawmakers in his country are championing — he doubled down on a claim that Australia will hit its environmental regulations target, despite other evidence that emissions actually increased 1.3 percent in the year to March 2018.

“I don’t think there’s much to be gained from ripping it up — it’s not going to affect electricity prices, [Energy Minister] Angus Taylor already told you that,” Morrison said of the agreement.

He added that the IPCC report “said a year ago the policies were fine.”