Leading article Australia

Ditch Paris

27 June 2020

9:00 AM

27 June 2020

9:00 AM

It was announced last week that the Minerals Council of Australia has ‘committed to cutting carbon emissions’ and has ‘thrown its support’ behind the Paris Agreement. This is all part of the MCA’s woke and virtuous-sounding ‘Climate Action Plan’. Perhaps they should re-name it the Climate Reduction Action Plan, because then at least the acronym would be a useful pointer as to its true value.

Some important reminders. Firstly, as Chief Scientist Alan Finkel informed a Senate Estimates Committee on 1 June, 2017, even if Australia were to reduce its emissions to zero (an impossibility) the effect on the planet’s climate would be ‘virtually nothing’. In other words, anything Australia achieves in lowering our carbon footprint is purely symbolic, designed to ‘encourage’ or even shame the true emitters (more about them in a second) to do their bit – a futile exercise. Secondly, renewable energy from wind, solar or batteries cannot drive a crusher, a grinding circuit, a 360-tonne truck, a train with a 140,000 tonne pay load or a ship; activities all of which are crucial to the commercial success of those companies that support the MCA. Thirdly, this nation now faces an economic and energy crisis that will require every effort to return manufacturing to these shores and to create a more industrially competitive nation; we must rapidly turn every commodity, every skill, every opportunity to our own economic advantage.

With all that in mind, let us now consider what the Paris Agreement actually does. Ratified in the hours after Donald Trump was elected president by the socialist-leaning Malcolm Turnbull (he who helped set up the conservative-loathing Guardian Australia) and his untrustworthy deputy Julie Bishop, this absurdity is a Clayton’s Accord drawn up by Lewis Carroll: the agreement you have when there is no agreement with commitments that mean whatever either side wants them to mean. If the definition of a great deal is one where both sides walk away feeling they have won, the Paris Agreement is the deal where one side impoverishes itself while the other side laughs all the way to the bank. On top of which, the UN-endorsed methodology for measuring carbon emissions is not only flawed but idiotic, resulting in the relentless and irreversible transfer of wealth from ‘developed’ nations to ‘undeveloped’ ones.

The world’s greatest carbon emitter (and polluter, the two things are very different) is China, by a country mile. One of the world’s lowest carbon emitters (and cleanest countries) is us. Yet under the Paris Agreement, China, one of the world’s wealthiest nations, is ‘undeveloped’ so can do whatever it pleases, whilst we, being ‘developed’, must reduce our emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2030. (Labor, the Greens and the creepy bedwetters of the Liberal party wish to see net zero emissions by 2050). So China gets to increase its emissions to whatever it damn well feels like, which is why it is currently indulging in a coal-fired power station orgy of construction, as our industries and households struggle to turn a profit or pay the bills.

By supporting this insanity, the MCA is betraying the national interest. At a time when this country needs to urgently take advantage of whatever resources and other benefits we have been blessed with, the MCA is both hindering our own industrial capacities whilst boosting the competitive advantage of China, a nation that has recently threatened and bullied us.

No doubt the big union-backed super funds have flexed their muscles and had a hand in pushing the MCA down this left-wing ideological dirt track.

Australians must realise that the Paris Agreement and the virtue-signalling climate policies of so many corporations and lobby groups will do nothing for global temperatures, but will only make us weaker and poorer as they make China stronger and richer.

It is high time the Morrison government stopped pretending that we have an obligation to meet our Paris Agreement when China has so self-evidently gamed the system to its advantage and our disadvantage. For our own prosperity, security and economic recovery, we must ditch Paris.

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