Australia’s chief climate commissioner Professor Tim Flannery says Australians have been misled by “lies” about global efforts to tackle climate change.
At the same time he said Australian’s were increasingly less fearful of the minority federal Labor government’s pollution price.
Professor Flannery says on the flip-side people have been repeatedly told the world isn’t acting, when it is.
The Climate Commission today released a report that indicates by next year 33 countries and 18 sub-national jurisdictions will have a carbon price in place.
“These schemes could be expected to cover around 850 million people, around 30 per cent of the global economy and around 20 per cent of global emissions,” the report, The Critical Decade: International Action on Climate Change, states.
Professor Flannery says the report proves the world is moving on climate change.
“One is that the world isn’t acting and the other is what Australia does is not important.”
Professor Flannery said even he was “astonished” to discover the extent and diversity of action.
The commission chief was surprised Japan has emissions trading in Tokyo and Saitama, covering 20 million people, and that South Africa will introduce a nationwide carbon price in 2013.
He was also impressed by the extent of Canada and China’s responses.
The Chinese government will introduce trading schemes in seven cities and provinces from 2013.
The commission report also notes that China is a global leader in renewable energy.
“It’s doing hugely well,” Professor Flannery said.
“It’s got half the world’s installed wind capacity.”
It argues that as one of 20 “carbon heavyweights” that contribute 75 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, Australia is influential.
Professor Flannery believes since Labor’s controversial carbon price started on July 1 people have developed a greater understanding of its real-world impact and their earlier fears have faded.
“But since then the experience that we’re hearing back from a lot of people is that a lot of the fear has gone out of it,” he said.
The climate commission was established in early 2011 by the Labor government to promote the case for tackling dangerous climate change.
The full report is available here: http://climatecommission.gov.au/report/the-critical-decade-international-action-climate-change/