NCCA call for climate ambition ahead of COP26

NCCA call for climate ambition ahead of COP26

President of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), Bishop Philip Huggins, has described the United Nations COP26 climate talks as possibly the “last chance to save our planet” in a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Bishop Hughes joined those who are calling on Mr Morrison to take “leadership” by announcing more ambitious emissions reduction targets and to do this well ahead of the summit in November.

The NCCA includes most of the nation’s Churches, including the Uniting Church.

“Can I urge that you include an Australian announcement not only to match that of the many nations already committing to net zero emissions by 2050, but also make vivid our commitment to real zero emissions asap?”

“Real zero” reflects recent critiques that “net zero”, where ongoing emissions are roughly equal to carbon sequestered, won’t be enough to avoid further climate destabilisation.

The Morrison Government has so far kept previous targets taken to the Paris negotiations, which commit Australia to cut emissions by 26 to 28 percent on 2005 levels by 2030. The US had the same target at the time, however President Biden recently announced a new target of 52 percent on 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050.

Bishop Huggins challenged Mr Morrison to become an “inspirational leader” and to set more ambitious targets.

“By announcing Australia’s generous and ambitious NDC, you can inspire others to be more ambitious. In humankind’s history, what does it take for us to make powerful and right decisions that bring greater safety and well-being? Always the answer to this question includes, doesn’t it, inspirational leaders?” he wrote.

“We have so needed experienced and value-based international leadership! As a trusted ally and because [Biden] is right about greater climate ambition, we need to support him.”

The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 1 to 12 November 2021. For more information, visit the official website here.

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