Members’ Articles and Writings on Climate Action:

Diplomats for Climate has submitted a response to the Climate Change Authority's issues paper on Targets, Pathways and Progress to 2035, which closed on 14 May 2024. The paper notes that Australia's contribution to global emissions will be strongly affected by decarbonisation policies in our trading partners, particularly given the emissions profile of our fossil fuel exports. While this is true, we argue that Australia has a role in actively encouraging faster decarbonisation abroad, particularly with a view to reducing our trading partners' demand for Australian fossil fuels. We offer some possible approaches through multilateral, regional and bilateral channels.

Diplomats for Climate made a submission to the Government's consultation on the agriculture and land sector climate plan, which closed on 5 January 2024. The Government's discussion paper makes little or no mention of the biggest contributor to emissions in the land sector, which is land clearing for native forest logging or pasture. We urge the Government to develop a strategy to recognise and reward carbon and biodiversity values from the land, and to take advantage of international demand for high quality and high integrity carbon and biodiversity credits, which could fund a land restoration industry.

Stopping new coal and gas won't reduce emissions (but diplomacy will) by Janaline Oh was published in the Canberra Times on 18 December 2023. The opinion piece is based on our submission to the Future Gas Strategy calling for a particular focus on encouraging Japan to decarbonise its electricity and reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels. The text of the article is here.

Diplomats for Climate made a submission to the Government's consultation process for a Future Gas Strategy which proposes an active diplomatic strategy with our major bilateral gas markets (Japan, China and Korea) to support the decarbonisation of their domestic economies with a view to phasing down their reliance on Australian gas. The submission was sent on 10 November 2023.

Five bold reforms needed now to boost Australia's climate finance in a rapidly decarbonising world by Janaline Oh and Tim Buckley, an opinion piece based on our position paper, was published by the Canberra Times on 10 June 2023.

Five urgent reforms to boost Australia's climate finance in a rapidly decarbonising world by Janaline Oh and Tim Buckley of Climate Energy Finance was released on 6 June 2023. In it, we propose five reforms to investment rules that will unlock Australia's significant domestic financial capital in support of decarbonisation.

Why Australia and Indonesia should build a comprehensive partnership on climate change and the energy transition by Richard Mathews was published on 26 April 2023 by the University of Melbourne. Richard notes the importance of climate change to both Indonesia and Australia as countries highly vulnerable to its impacts. He argues that the synergies in our interests, including both countries' renewable energy potential, and the depth and breadth of our bilateral relationship, create the opportunity for significant mutual benefit from a comprehensive climate and energy partnership.

How a foreign aid re-think can help Australia's climate goals at home and abroad by Alan March was published on 12 December 2022 in the Canberra Times. Alan argues the case for increasing Australia's aid program and focusing it on climate finance and assistance with adaptation. He notes Australia's existing advantages in the form of strong relationships within the region, as well as expertise in disaster response and recovery, and concludes that increasing investments in climate action in the aid program provides benefits to Australia.

What Australia needs to do to be a global leader on climate action by Janaline Oh was published on 26 October 2022 in the Canberra Times. Janaline argues that as well signing the Global Methane Pledge (which Prime Minister Albanese announced on 23 October), Australia also needs to commit to end public funding of fossil fuel projects overseas and make a substantial commitment to climate finance for developing countries to assist them to adapt to the already devastating effects of climate change.

Australia's export job opportunities are in the global green economy by Janaline Oh was published on 2 September 2022 in the Canberra Times. Janaline describes the huge competitive advantage Australia has in energy intensive manufacturing for export, due to our abundant, cheap renewable energy. Janaline noted that high labour costs, high energy costs and high transport costs have historically focused Australia's trade strategy on exporting large quantities of raw material. She argued that while Australia's labour costs remain relatively high, our workers are also highly productive and Australia's future no longer involves high energy costs: it can produce abundant and cheap renewable energy.   She urged the government to accelerate the energy transition, and turn Australia into a clean energy export manufacturing powerhouse.

PIF 2022 - Australia's chance for a re-set on climate change by Janaline Oh and Mahendra Kumar (of Pacific Elders Voice) was published on 9 July 2022 in the Fiji Times. The article proposes some further steps on domestic and international climate policy that the Albanese government can take to restore its reputation in the region.

Pacific labour mobility and the existential threat of climate change by Diplomats for Climate Action Now member Peter Hooton (former High Commissioner to Solomon Islands) was published in the Lowy Interpreter on 21 June 2022. In this article Peter writes that "the new Australian Labor government’s commitment to listen more closely to its island neighbours is welcome, as are its Pacific labour mobility initiatives". He argues that in addition to the Pacific Engagement Visa (capped at 3,000 visas annually) Australia should consider offering a new climate change quota beyond this cap for particularly vulnerable Pacific island states. This would signal a serious commitment to jointly addressing the challenges of climate change, especially for those states whose existence is threatened by rising sea levels. This will be an interesting and difficult debate for Australia, but a debate that we need to have.

Solomons security pact: Sogavare, China and Australia, by Peter Hooton (former High Commissioner to Solomon Islands) was published in the Lowy Interpreter on 21 April 2022. Peter emphasises that Australia's greatest foreign policy failure - ever - is actually its failure to address (at both a national and international level) climate change, which poses the gravest single threat to the future viability of Pacific island countries as sovereign states.

"Australian action on climate change and why our national security and future prosperity rely on it", by Janaline Oh, was published in the Canberra Times on 18th April 2022. This article highlights the nexus between climate change, national security and our future prosperity, and emphasises that climate change is a global issue requiring international collaboration and urgent global action.

"Climate change in the Pacific: what Australia needs to do" by Peter Hooton, was published in the Lowy Interpreter, 24th March 2022.

"The Glasgow Climate Change Conference: What Next for Climate Finance?" by Dr Ruth Adler, was published in the official blog of the International Law Association (Australian Branch), 6th Jan 2022.

"Why diplomats are so concerned about climate change", by Richard Mathews Convenor of Diplomats for Climate Action Now, was published in the Canberra Times, 14th December 2021.

"Australia, Indonesia and Climate Change" by Richard Mathews, was published in the Lowy Interpreter, 20th October 2021.