*Pic: Wondrous mystery ... the Tarkine forest ...
At the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris over the past week more than 12 African countries pledged the reforestation of around 100 million hectares of natural forest across the continent by 2030.
An amazing objective which proves Third World countries can make a difference, but where was Australia’s voice … ?
So far the Turnbull Government’s commitment to address climate change seems nothing beyond a handful of confusing statistics, deceptive loopholes and monotonous rhetoric when It comes to really making a commitment or taking action.
Out of the 58 countries who attended the Paris Climate Summit, Australia was ranked 3rd last by Europe’s Climate Action Network ( HERE ). This is an embarrassing status, being only just ahead of Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan.
What an appalling and illusory effort from our representative Julie Bishop, who claimed Australia was meeting and beating its climate targets.
During the Global Landscapes Forum at the UN Climate Change talks this amazing African reforestation initiative received more than $1 billion in funding from the World Bank and the German government, in addition to a further $540 million in private funding.
If the Third World can do it … why can’t Australia?
Without doubt many of these African countries made pledges in the hope that they would receive funding, though there is inspired optimism from some of these undeveloped countries.
Here are some examples –
Waanjira Maathai, chair of the Green Belt Movement founded by her late mother, the Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, added that “the truly inspiring, continent-wide” plan to restore Africa’s lost forests “will empower and enrich rural communities whilst providing downstream benefits to those in the cities”.
Vincent Biruta, Rwanda’s Minister of Natural Resources said. “Restoring our landscapes brings prosperity security and opportunity. With forest landscape restoration we’ve seen agricultural yields rise and farmers in our rural communities diversify their livelihoods and improve their well-being. Forest landscape restoration is not just an environmental strategy. It is an economic and social development strategy as well.”
Meanwhile back in Australia reforestation of our lost forest coverage is improbable as the country is bearing the legacy of the Abbott Government’s legislative amendments in June 2015, whereby Australia’s renewable energy target (RET) was scaled down from 41,000 GWh to 33,000 GWh.
In that legislation the definition of renewable energy was also altered to include burning of biomass from native forests. This definition alone shows that Australia is a climate laggard.
The challenge for Australians is to elect a government which is willing to take some initiative in developing alternative energy technology, the phasing out coal-fired power stations, and to reforest the landscape.
Addressing any initiatives discussed in Paris is unlikely to evolve in the near future whilst the majority of Liberals and National Party representatives are stuck in the mindset of climate change denial.
They continue to bury their heads in the sand and believe - just as Tony Abbott reiterated - that Climate Change is Crap …