The UN Is Officially Sick Of Australia’s Inaction On Climate Change

The United Nation's Secretary General called Australia a “holdout” on meaningful climate action.

UN Australia

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The United Nations Secretary-General named and shamed Australia for not doing enough to tackle climate change.

António Guterres spoke at a sustainability summit in London on Tuesday, making a dig at our piss-poor environmental efforts in comparison to other countries. “A growing number of G20 developed economies have announced meaningful emissions reductions by 2030 — with a handful of holdouts, such as Australia,” he said.

Guterres went on to call coal “madness”, a “stupid investment”, and commented that “addiction to fossil fuels is mutually assured destruction”.

The call out comes nearly five months after Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to phase out coal any faster, and only committed to cutting emissions by an extra two percent in the next decade at the COP26 in Glasgow.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher shrugged off the jab, telling the ABC that “the chattering classes of the UN can say what they want”.

“We have beaten our Kyoto targets. We‘re very confident we’ll meet our Paris targets,” he said, claiming that Australia is outperforming the US, Canada, and our neighbours New Zealand on emission reductions.

A spokesperson for Minister for Energy Angus Taylor told the The Guardian that Australia was doing a better job than 15 members of the G20 — a comparative statement that Scott Morrison was challenged on by fact-checkers in February.

Naturally, Senator Matt Canavan also weighed in, telling Sky News that “Europe has got itself into an absolute vulnerable mess because they failed to develop their own fossil fuels”.

“For the UN here, they are not only so hopeless on Ukraine,” he said. “Now they’re actively undermining our peace and security, and we should totally ignore them.”

Meanwhile, Head of Research at the Climate Council Simon Bradshaw told SBS it’s actually a big deal Australia was singled out. “It’s very unusual for the UN Secretary-General to call out any country, specifically. I don’t recall a time when this has happened. It’s striking to see,” he said.

“What it indicates is that we’re going to keep seeing that pressure on Australia until we step up. We’re still the only one of those big developed countries that hasn’t significantly increased its commitments for this decade.”