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Tag Archives: carbon pricing

Global fossil fuel divestment a tsunami of change

By Dr Anthony Horton

According to a report published by Arabella Advisors, since Climate Week in September last year more than 250 institutions and 1300 individuals have joined the global fossil fuel divestment and clean energy investment movement. The scale of the increase in divestment over the last 13 months is indeed significant-growing from $50 billion to $2.6 trillion (eg. a 50 fold increase).

There has also been a significant broadening of sectors pledging to divest. Last year, foundations, universities, faith-based organisations and NGOs were leading the movement. Now, large pension funds and private sector companies hold more than 90% of the combined assets of those who have committed to divest.

The massive growth in divestment is in part being driven by an awareness that climate change poses a risk to investment portfolios. Citigroup, HSBC, Mercer, the International Energy Agency, Bank of England and Carbon Tracker Initiative have reported evidence of a significant (and now quantifiable) risk to portfolios that include fossil fuels when the world is increasingly constrained by carbon.

Historically, the United States was the focus of the divestment movement, however divestment now covers virtually the whole world. Last year, nearly 80% of organisations that divested were based in the United States. Currently, just under 60% of organisations that divest are based there. Significantly, divesting organisations now represent nearly 650 million people around the world.

Last year, global investment in clean energy reached $310 billion, and many organisations are also committing to invest in solutions to climate change. Approximately $785 billion in assets are now held by organisations and individuals that have pledge to divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean energy.

Faith communities are also making a very strong case for the moral responsibility of acting on climate change and providing access to clean energy for the world’s poor. Faith leaders are demanding meaningful climate change actions and they are also divesting their own assets. To date nearly 130 faith based organisations with $24 billion in assets have committed to divest.

Commitments from universities have almost tripled since last year, with 40 institutions and $130 billion in assets pledging to divest. Prominent universities including Georgetown, Oxford and the University of California have committed in the last year, with the latter committing its entire $98 billion portfolio.

The California General Assembly recently voted to divest its public employee pension funds (worth $476 billion) from companies that get more than 50% of their revenue from coal mining. Providence Rhode Island, the City of Newcastle (Australia) and the Government of the ACT are notable examples.

More than 110 Foundations with over $10 billion in assets have also committed to divest from fossil fuels since September 2014.

Divestment is one mechanism in an organisation’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) tool kit; as significant as the movement is, it is important to remember that there are a number of other strategies available from a CSR perspective including carbon pricing and emission reduction targets. Carbon pricing is a very well-known strategy which has revolutionised business operations and procurement in a number of countries and industries.

Evidence is growing that carbon pricing in some shape or form is one basis upon which decisions are being made as to the procurement of goods and services. Those corporations that provide goods and services and have implemented internal carbon pricing have an advantage over their competitors, and being a market based instrument, that advantage may grow more significant over time.

Emission reduction targets-based on what science currently tells us-are another mechanism available to corporations for inclusion in their CSR tool kit. Analysis by the We Mean Business (WMB) Coalition shows that there are a range of ways a science based reduction target can be determined.

The first method is entitled the 3% solution-based on the United States’ corporate sector’s need to reduce emissions by 3% on average each year from 2010 to 2020 in order to avoid catastrophic climate change. Businesses that act now can save $US 190 billion in 2020. If they wait until 2020 to start, corporations will have to cut emissions by 10% per year to maintain the correct trajectory for 2050.

The second method-entitled Cutting absolute emissions-involves corporations reducing emissions in line with IPCC recommendations (a reduction of 41-72% by 2050 of 2010 levels). This method isn’t sector or region specific, and importantly a 41-72% reduction effectively means there is still a 1 in 3 chance global warming won’t be kept under 2°C.

Value added approaches link a corporation’s carbon emissions to their contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As a corporation’s contribution to GDP increase, the emission reductions need to keep pace. These approaches can be implemented in developed and developing countries, are flexible and reasonably simple to implement. However, they don’t necessarily account for differences in sectors.

Lastly, the Sectoral Decarbonisation Approach (SDA) allocates a carbon budget to each sector that is linked to the IPCC recommendations. Corporations in each sector can base targets on their contribution to their sector’s total activity and on their emissions intensity relative to their sector’s overall emissions intensity. It is a new method, however it should give a more accurate picture of the extent to which corporations need to maintain the 2°C ceiling. Being sector based, it also makes more sense for business.

Whichever method corporations choose to set emission reduction targets once they have considered their individual circumstances, the important point is that they are setting them in the first place. Along with divestment in fossil fuels and investment in clean energy, these mechanisms illustrate that corporations understand the challenges and opportunities that climate change presents. It is also somewhat illustrative of the need for Government to establish the policy framework and then get out of the way and let corporations do what they do best.

This article was originally published on The Climate Change Guy.

rWdMeee6_pe About the author: Anthony Horton holds a PhD in Environmental Science, a Bachelor of Environmental Science with Honours and a Diploma of Carbon Management. He has a track record of delivering customised solutions in Academia, Government, the Mining Industry and Consulting based on the latest wisdom and his scientific background and experience in Climate/Atmospheric Science and Air Quality. Anthony’s work has been published in internationally recognised scientific journals and presented at international and national conferences, and he is currently on the Editorial Board of the Journal Nature Environment and Pollution Technology. Anthony also blogs on his own site, The Climate Change Guy.


Current climate policies put Australian businesses and jobs at risk

Australian companies that export goods and/or services should be asking themselves whether they are happy for the Federal Government to continue to put their potential future viability at risk, writes Dr Anthony Horton.

According to a World Bank announcement on Sunday September 20, the number of carbon pricing schemes around the world has nearly doubled from 20 to 38 since 2012, and the schemes account for approximately 12% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Rachel Kyte, a Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change at the World Bank stated in a teleconference that a price on carbon for Governments and businesses alike is inevitable. The World Bank’s study of the current schemes showed that the price per tonne around the world ranged from less than $1 in Mexico to $130 in Sweden.

Rachel Kyte, a Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change at the World Bank stated in a teleconference that a price on carbon for Governments and businesses alike is inevitable. The World Bank’s study of the current schemes showed that the price per tonne around the world ranged from less than $1 in Mexico to $130 in Sweden.

In related news, the number of companies that have internal carbon pricing has tripled since last year. In setting such a price, companies essentially incentivise decreased reliance on fossil fuels, and can help to mitigate the effects of current or proposed future regulation. According to Environmental not for profit group CDP, the prices currently range from $1-$357 per metric tonne.

Special Advisor to CDP Paula DiPerna stated that companies would welcome certainty from Regulators and are therefore already planning for mandated emission limits in the future. The 435 companies named in the report include the Campbell Soup company, Black and Decker, Exxon Mobil and Nissan.

CDP North America President Lance Pierce commented that each company essentially anticipated future emissions prices and saw internal carbon pricing as an essential part of building a foundation for their future competitive advantage.

What does this mean for Australian companies?

These two reports are the latest in an increasing number that point to carbon pricing being an integral part of operating a business and one of the bases upon which companies will select and manage their suppliers of goods and/or services. It also points to a shift in the way competitiveness and corporate social responsibility will be defined and maintained going forward.

In previous blogs I have highlighted many large multinational companies that have implemented internal pricing and other measures including monitoring and reducing their carbon and greenhouse emissions, investing in renewable energy and selecting suppliers that do likewise. In response, they are decarbonising their entire operations and a number have found that their market share (and returns to shareholders) has increased, in no small part due to marketing their “greener” image compared to their competitors from a corporate social responsibility perspective.

While some may say that multinational companies have sufficient liquidity to adopt a speculative stance on Governments implementing carbon trading at national levels, it is also fair to say that Governments recognise the importance of certainty in terms of policies and legislation such that companies can maintain their competitiveness and growth which facilitates increased employment opportunities.

Given that the current Australian Government does not have mechanisms in place to incentivise domestic companies to internally price carbon, monitor and reduce their carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, invest in renewable energy or select suppliers that do likewise, it is conceivable that Australian companies will be vulnerable if they have an international competitor that incorporates each of the these into their operations and produces what is considered an identical product. Under this scenario the viability of the company and the jobs of the employees are at serious risk, especially if the international market constitutes the majority of the Australian company’s income.

Ultimately, Australian companies that export goods and/or services need to ask themselves whether they are happy for the Federal Government to continue to put their potential future viability (and the jobs of their employees) at risk or not, and if not, what they are going to do about it.

This article was first published on

rWdMeee6_pe About the author: Anthony Horton holds a PhD in Environmental Science, a Bachelor of Environmental Science with Honours and a Diploma of Carbon Management. He has a track record of delivering customised solutions in Academia, Government, the Mining Industry and Consulting based on the latest wisdom and his scientific background and experience in Climate/Atmospheric Science and Air Quality. Anthony’s work has been published in internationally recognised scientific journals and presented at international and national conferences, and he is currently on the Editorial Board of the Journal Nature Environment and Pollution Technology. Anthony also blogs on his own site, The Climate Change Guy.


Pave paradise, put up a parking lot

When Julia Gillard left office we had a carbon price in place, a burgeoning renewable energy industry, and the respect of the world as leaders in taking action on climate change. The system had not been perfected but it was underway and open to refinement with expert bodies set up to advise us on the best way forward.

Now we are advised on climate change by Maurice Newman and Dick Warburton. Billions of investment dollars have been lost due to the abandonment of the Renewable Energy Target. Instead, we are pinning our economic future on coal whilst killing our natural wonders and tourism industry. Instead of collecting $10 billion from polluters, encouraging them to move to clean practices, we will give them $3 billion to do their upgrades while we pay for the research – a $13 billion turnaround in revenue.

When Julia Gillard left office, we had a mining tax that paid us a small but growing dividend for the huge profits being made by selling our resources. Once again, it was not ideal but at least it was in place and the original concessions like accelerated depreciation were running out.

Now we have no mining tax which, even according to Hockey’s pessimistic outlook, will cost the budget about $5.5 billion in foregone revenue.

When Julia Gillard left office, we had signed agreements with most states and territories for hospital and school funding. To get the federal funding, the states had agreed to matching proportional funding, locking both parties in, and to accountability reviews where standards had to be achieved to maintain funding support.

Now we have reneged on those agreements, cut $80 billion in funding from health and education, released states from their obligation to direct set amounts into these areas and from accountability goals, and seem on the road to privatising both sectors and increasing the GST.

When Julia Gillard left office, the rollout of a world class National Broadband network was underway where over 90% of us would have fibre to the premises. There were teething problems as there would be with any such undertaking, but the contracts were signed, the plan was made, and premises were being connected at an increasing rate.

Now the rollout has slowed down while Malcolm Turnbull conducts three reviews into why Labor was bad. In the meantime we have no contract with Telstra, who are in a monopoly situation, who can hold out for the best deal for their shareholders (note the dividends this year were higher?). We will now get some mix of technology sometime, maybe, but certainly not soon and definitely more expensive in the long run.

When Julia Gillard left office, the orders had been given to bring home our troops from Afghanistan.

Now we are sending them back to Iraq and farewelling them with a wage cut.

[And before anyone mentions the one year freezing of politicians’ wages, could I point out that in the 16 months leading to July last year, they received three payrises, delivering a salary boost of $54,220 or more than $1000 a week since March the previous year.]

When Julia Gillard was in office, she was unable to get her media reform laws passed that would have protected against ownership monopoly, and against factually incorrect reporting. Who could forget the screams of censorship and the Murdoch photoshopping.

Now we have the possibility that the Attorney-General can decide to prosecute and incarcerate a journalist for ten years for telling the truth about what our government bodies are doing.

When Julia Gillard left office, pensions were indexed to rise with Average Male Weekly Earnings which kept their standard of living relative to the community.

Now pensions will be indexed to the Consumer Price Index. The proposal to change the indexation, due to commence in 2017, would cut the value of the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Veterans’ pension and Carer Payment by an estimated $80 a week within ten years. Despite the anger the changes sparked, they raised a modest $449 million over five years.

When Julia Gillard left office, we had a universal health care system that was the envy of the world.

Now we will have to pay every time we see the doctor or have a test and our Pharmaceutical Benefits System will be at the mercy of free trade agreements.

When Julia Gillard left office, we finally had universal agreement for a National Disability Insurance Scheme funded by an increase to the Medicare levy, a move widely accepted by the population, even if the Opposition didn’t bother to turn up for the introduction of the legislation of this groundbreaking reform in Parliament.

Now we find Mitch Fifield tasked with the job of holding it up for as long as he can while he conducts… you guessed it… more reviews.

The third quarterly report on the NDIS, released in May, makes clear that there is no case for any cut, cap or delay to the NDIS but Tony wants a surplus so I guess he will collect our increased levy and sit on it while he pays consultant mates to recommend winding it back or leaving it to Labor to pay for.

“In response to the capability review, the Agency has developed an action plan and will provide further advice as to whether the current implementation timetable is consistent with a successful full scheme rollout.” – Mitch Fifield, March 2014

Senator Fifield’s comment echoes previous statements from senior Coalition figures that indicate the national start date of 2018-19 could be pushed back.

CEO of Carers Australia, Ara Creswell, said:

“The NDIS has an inbuilt review, a cost review at this point in time is both curious and concerning. Costs are right on track, package numbers are consistent and hopes are high. We need to move forward, not tread water while we undertake yet another review.”


Kevin Stone, President of the National Council on Intellectual Disability said:

“…we expect the State and Territory Premiers and Treasurers to stand by people with disability and their families and stand firm against any attempts to change the agreements made”.


What will be next?

“Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.”

Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’

-Martin Niemoller


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Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away

It wasn’t that long ago that Australia was being praised around the world. Remember when we had an intelligent, articulate, diplomatic leader with a vision for the future?

We survived the GFC with Wayne Swan being awarded the world’s best Treasurer by the magazine Euromoney “for his careful stewardship of Australia’s finances and economic performance, both during and since the global financial crisis”.

Julia Gillard led the way in action on climate change by introducing a price on carbon prompting praise from around the world.

“Australia will create tens of thousands of clean jobs in the coming years. You will save billions by eliminating wasteful energy usage, money that can be directed to other pressing social and infrastructure demands.

Australia will be helping lead the world out of this crisis, sending a powerful message that, yes, it can be done. Despite all the barriers, despite all the bitter, misleading opposition, Australia is leading the world toward a brighter, more sustainable future.”

In April last year, Julia Gillard also displayed her diplomatic skills in China.

“TEN foreign leaders visited China this week but only Julia Gillard scored what could turn out to be the deal of the decade. The Prime Minister’s coup in striking a “strategic partnership” and securing annual talks with China’s leaders will be her foreign policy legacy. It guarantees Australia access to the growing superpower at the highest levels and is being hailed by some as one of the most significant breakthroughs since Gough Whitlam’s courageous step 40 years ago to establish diplomatic links with China.

The China deal locks in formal annual talks between Australia’s PM and the Chinese Premier, as well as meetings for Australia’s foreign affairs minister, treasurer and trade minister with their counterparts.”

I could go on listing the previous government’s achievements – introducing our first paid parental leave scheme, environmental protections with water trigger and Murray-Darling buyback and marine parks, the NDIS, the NBN, education funding – the list is long and visionary.

But for some unfathomable reason, the majority of Australians were convinced that Abbott could do a better job. We could blame the media (and I do) but in reality, it is us who are to blame for our unquestioning acceptance of the lies we were being told. It is our own fault that we have moved from a position of world admiration for a responsible egalitarian society to one where we are being lampooned internationally and well and truly screwed domestically.

The Coalition began by stating we didn’t need Indonesia’s permission for our asylum seeker policy, a statement which infuriated them. We then had the odious Mark Textor suggesting that Indonesia’s foreign minister looked like a 70’s porn star, and the revelation that we spied on the President’s wife – something for which Abbott was incapable of saying sorry. We also violated their sovereign waters because apparently our Navy can’t tell where they are. We have been vilified for setting people adrift in life rafts, and censured for presumptuous plans to collect intelligence in Indonesian villages and to buy their fishing fleet.

We insulted the Prime Minister of PNG by suggesting he had lied, and then confiscated documents from the lawyer representing Timor l’Este in the International Court where we stand accused of bugging their Parliament to gain trade advantages for private firms. Abbott also had to “offer an act of contrition” to Malaysia for his previous comments about their human rights record.

Abbott offended war veterans and their families by praising the “honour” of the Japanese who attacked us, while Julie Bishop infuriated China by calling in their ambassador to berate him for the dispute over islands in the East China Sea prompting this response in the Chinese version of the Global Times:

“China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs doesn’t even have the tools to deal with this kind of ‘complete fool’ of a foreign minister.”

When Tony Abbott rushed to condemn the Russians in the hours after the downing of the plane in the Ukraine, he incurred the wrath of both China and Russia.

The official Xinhua news agency said in an English-language commentary that officials from the United States, Australia and other Western countries had jumped to conclusions in pointing their fingers at the rebels in eastern Ukraine and for blaming Russia for the escalating violence.

“The accusation was apparently rash when the officials acknowledged they did not know for the time being who is responsible for the attack, while condemning Russia’s military intervention,” Xinhua said.

“Without bothering himself about evidence and operating only on speculation, Mr T. Abbott assigned guilt,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. “Abbott’s statements are unacceptable” going on to say “Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has gone farther than others in making irresponsible innuendoes against our country even though one would think that her position presupposes building bridges between countries, not destroying them.”

In another inexplicable brain fart that even the US was quick to distance itself from, our Attorney General decided to inflame tensions by deciding that East Jerusalem would no longer be referred to as Occupied Territory. In the process, Australia was hailed by Israel’s government, scolded by a group of 57 Muslim-majority countries, and had multibillion-dollar export trades put under threat.

Along with defending the rights of bigots and then linking the backtrack in the repeal of the Racial Discrimination laws to ramped up anti-terrorist laws, Brandis and Abbott have alienated the Australian Muslim community.

And one can only wonder as to why Abbott has chosen to instruct the Scottish people on how they should vote in their upcoming referendum on independence. Their response:

“Mr Abbott’s comments are hypocritical because independence does not seem to have done Australia any harm. They are foolish, actually, because of the way he said it. To say the people of Scotland who supported independence weren’t friends of freedom or justice, I mean, the independence process is about freedom and justice.”

The first minister said Scotland’s referendum on independence was a “model of democratic conduct” and Mr Abbott’s comments were “offensive to the Scottish people”.

Whilst alienating Russia, China, Indonesia, Palestine, Scotland, Malaysia, East Timor, PNG, the Muslim community, and veterans, we have also earned ourselves the title of Colossal Fossil for our refusal to take part in global action on climate change.

Domestically the picture is even more ridiculous. We reinstate knights and dames, we defend the rights of bigots, poor people don’t drive cars, breast cancer is linked to abortion, we are “unprepared for global cooling”, and can someone please explain to Brandis and Abbott what metadata is?

The Australia Institute, in a scathing review of the Commission of Audit, asked the following questions:

As one of the richest countries in the world Australian people have the potential, when working together, to do anything they want. But, we cannot do everything we want. Australia will need to make choices and it is our choice whether we want to:

  • have the world’s best education and health systems or the world’s lowest taxes
  • continue to outspend our neighbours on defence or underspend on tackling climate change
  • increase the incomes of the elderly and the sick or to cut the taxes of our wealthiest residents.

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away

Now it looks as though they’re here to stay

Oh, I believe in yesterday


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Is anybody listening about carbon pricing?

I know Tony doesn’t like advice but I feel duty bound to keep trying.

Yet another study has shown the economic benefits of carbon pricing.

This article first appeared in Climate Progress on 4 March 2014

According to a new study out of California, taxing carbon emissions at a whopping $200 per ton would create more jobs in the state than business-as-usual.

The report was commissioned by Citizens Climate Lobby and carried out by Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI). The latter used a model of the California economy they’ve developed and combined it with the Carbon Tax Analysis Model — an open-source, Microsoft Excel-based model of carbon emissions and tax revenues at the state level, built off data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The resulting simulation looked at three different tax levels: $50 per ton of carbon emissions, $100 per ton, and $200 per ton. All three started at $10 per ton in 2015, then rose $10 annually until they hit their maximum level: $50 in 2019, $100 in 2024, and $200 in 2034.

Lots of previous analyses have tried to model the economic cost of the damage climate change will impose, and $200 per ton of emissions is consistent with several of them. But it’s also way higher than anything lawmakers here or elsewhere have considered. The Canadian province of British Columbia, for example, has a carbon tax of $27.88 per ton. When the Obama Administration estimated the price of carbon, the mid-range of their numbers was around $40 per ton.

Yet not only did the $200 per ton tax create more jobs than the “do nothing” baseline in REMI’s simulation, it created more jobs than the lower taxes did. Anywhere from 236,775 to 286,475 more jobs by 2035, to be specific.

How would this happen? Shouldn’t higher taxes hurt job growth?

Well, one reason a carbon tax is friendly to the economy is that it imposes a price on greenhouse gas emissions but doesn’t specify how the cuts are to be made. As the video below shows (see original article), that turns every business into a laboratory, each one looking for the most effective and least-costly ways to cut emissions that work for them:

But the other reason is what lawmakers do with the revenue. In all its scenarios, the California study set aside the first $4 billion in revenue each year for investment in renewables. Beyond that, it modeled two options:

  • The “across-the-board” model (ATB), which uses the revenue to cut California’s sales, income and corporate taxes by a proportional amount.
  • The “fee-and-dividend” model (FAD), which returns the revenue in equal amounts per person to every household in the state.

When NPR looked into a carbon tax, economists at MIT told them that plowing the money back into the economy like that essentially eliminated any economic drag from the tax. British Columbia went with the ATB option, and their carbon tax shows no signs of harming the province’s economy.

What’s especially interesting about the California study is it breaks down the different results from the ATB and FAD options. Cutting taxes created more jobs than giving out checks: 286,475 more jobs versus 236,775 more. Both increased real disposable income for the average California household by $16,000 by 2035. But cutting taxes resulted in almost $250 billion in additional cumulative GDP by 2035, while handing out checks only added around $60 billion by 2035.

So does a bigger economy mean cutting taxes is the better option? Not necessarily. Imagine an economy with enough productivity that everyone can make enough to support their family working just 20 hours a week. They’d then have more time to spend on friends, family, hobbies, travel, leisure, etc. Or they could sacrifice all that to keep working 40 or more hours or more and make way more income, which would then show up in the GDP data. So a society in which everyone just kept working more would have a larger economy as we measure it. But it’s not obvious it would be a better society in everyday human terms. This is just one of the problems with treating GDP as a proxy for a society’s overall well-being. (Also, while both versions of the carbon tax reduced income inequality, returning the money via checks reduced inequality more.)

The FAD option is strikingly similar to what’s called a universal basic income (UBI) — a policy where everyone in the state or country gets a check for the same amount every year, no strings or conditions attached. Alyssa Battistoni recently argued in Jacobin that a UBI itself would help make society more environmentally friendly, by moving it toward less carbon-intensive work and consumption.

REMI’s study also didn’t account for the health benefits of cutting carbon emissions. Those cuts inevitably reduce other pollutants from fossil fuels life sulfur dioxides and particulate matter, which are linked to asthma and other cardiovascular problems. Reducing those makes for healthier citizens and fewer expenditures on medical care, which also rebounds to the benefit of job creation and growth. So the economic benefits of a carbon tax could conceivably be even higher than what REMI modeled.

Finally, there’s the carbon emissions themselves. According to REMI’s model, the $200 per ton tax would cut California’s emissions between 25 and 30 percent from 1990’s levels by 2035.

Back in 2010, the the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering recommended the United States as a whole try to cut its emissions 50 to 80 percent cut below 1990 levels by 2050 — a goal the White House may eventually propose.

As Lord Deben recently said, it is indeed astonishing

“that a country should have become so selfish about this issue that it’s prepared to spoil the efforts of others and to foil what very much less rich countries are doing…

All that pollution which Australia is pushing into the atmosphere is of course changing my climate. It’s a real insult to the sovereignty of other countries…

It’s wholly contrary to the science, it’s wholly contradictory to the interests of Australia and I hope that many people in Australia will see when the rest of the world is going in the right direction what nonsense it is for them to be going backwards.”