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Big polluting nations must do most on climate, says Australia

Big polluting nations must do most on climate, says Australia
Nations with the biggest greenhouse gas emissions should be doing the most to fight climate change or the efforts of other countries will be cancelled out, Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Monday.

As the United Nations holds climate talks in Peru, Bishop dismissed China’s recent deal with the United States in which they agreed to work together to curb emissions as “business as usual”, while rejecting the idea that pollution should be judged on a per capita measure.

In an interview with The Australian, she said “those countries that are emitting the most have the greatest responsibility in terms of the totality”.

“If they continue to emit at the same rate, the major emitters will dwarf action taken by other countries.”

Australia, with its use of coal-fired power and relatively small population of 23 million, is one of the world’s worst per capita greenhouse gas polluters. Its emissions, however, amount to only about 1.5 per cent of those globally.

Bishop and Trade Minister Andrew Robb will represent Australia during high-level talks at the UN climate conference in Lima this week.

The conference is intended to pave the way for a global deal on cutting carbon emissions to be agreed next year in Paris.

Bishop said the conservative government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott would be “happy” to consider a Paris accord with binding emissions targets, but it would depend on what other nations were offering. 


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