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The Changing Climate Of Climate Change

The Changing Climate Of Climate Change
By Simon Williams
February 6, 2021

The US election was truly the dramatic finale to one memorable year, and as the dust begins to settle we can start to look forward into the future. Of course, there really is no future if we do not make a plan of action to address climate change. With the Democratic Party now in power and already pledged to make climate change action one of the cornerstones of their administration - will this also influence Australia to make the same moves? 

Australia has long been seen as the little brother to the US, closely aligned and open to flexing our own policies in line with other international trends. Although with the US choosing to ignore climate change over the last four years under the Trump administration has meant that the Morrisson government has also chosen not to prioritise action.

Let’s understand how the face of climate change has transformed, and what it would mean for Australia if the Biden administration moves forward with climate change action.

Failure to act will result in an economic downturn and unemployment

Asking when Australia will act against climate change is no longer the million-dollar question, it’s now to the tune of $330 trillion dollars. This is what Australia is poised to lose over 50 years if our nation continues as it is with no reform. This enormous economic downturn also equates to a projected 880 jobs lost, which Australia is not in a position to stomach if we wish to thrive and rise as a stable country.

This sobering report was found by Deloitte and actually authored by Rudd’s former policy director. The report communicated that there was a lot to be gained in controlling climate and keeping warming below 1.5 degrees and committing to being zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Is climate change an equal concern for all Australians?

Globally speaking, no one country will benefit from the devastating effects of climate change, which is why the Paris Agreement exists promoting collaboration and engagement from all countries. That said, some states in Australia do have more to lose and earlier on if Australia does not take swift action. Of the same Deloitte report, research showed that Queensland would be the recipient of more than 50% of job losses over this 50 year period, although if action is taken - they could receive 70% of new job opportunities that would result from climate change reform. Queensland’s already erratic weather (cyclones and torrential rain) will also degrade the Great Barrier Reef over time as this weather is more frequent and severe which will harm this tourism-rich Queensland economy.

How could a Biden administration influence the Morrisson government?

Morrison has wasted no time in inviting Biden and his wife to visit Australia in 2021, and this presents an opportunity for Australia to jump on the wagon of Biden’s strong stance on climate change action. Biden has committed to achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050, which echos our own research and proposition that has been shot down by the Australian government to date. Will this bring new credence to this recommendation if the US is striving for the same goal? We can only hope that Biden’s plans and relationship with Morrison can move the needle in articulating this high priority. 

Who else is working toward zero carbon emissions?

While Biden may appear to be a trailblazer when compared to the former administration, the UK was one of the first to make this pledge in 2019 and have already moved toward setting up frameworks to support this goal. In fact, China has even come out to announce that they too will be working toward this ambitious goal but by 2060 instead, which surprised many leaders. All other countries who are part of the Paris Agreement are bound to the responsibility of ensuring the global heating remains below 2 degrees, and ideally to limit heating rises to 1.5 degrees. Time will tell if Australia will join this crusade.

CartridgesDirect has a deep stake in climate change policies and green initiatives in Australia. On a smaller scale, we support organisations like Close The Loop and other entities committing to taking on the responsibility of recycling. In fact, we have even designed our own programs where we recognise gaps in the market, so find out more about our new Home Recycling Collection program and how you can also support.