The upcoming 27th session of the Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an opportunity for countries to boost their efforts to tackle the issue, an Australian scholar on climate change has said.
“This conference is to lock everything in to make sure that countries stick to their targets, increase their efforts, increase their finance, and agree on what the global goal should be around adaptation and how to deal with impacts,” Richie Merzian, a former Australian government representative to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said in an interview.
While the interview took place, thousands of people were affected by floods in Australia as its eastern states were soaked by continuing heavy rain.
“The conference will deal with the impacts of climate change, which are a future problem. People are experiencing it, floods, droughts, fires,” said Merzian, also director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Australia Institute.
Scheduled to Egypt for the conference slated for Nov. 6-18, he voiced confidence that it will be an important conference for Australia, which has changed government and its emission reduction target.
Australia has previously set an emissions reduction target of 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, before the Labor government increased it earlier this year to 43 percent.
Hailing the change “a good move,” Merzian said the Australian public want more climate action.
“It needs to go further, though,” he said, adding that it should increase its financial support for developing countries to help them deal with climate impacts.
Talking about energy transition, he said, “We are going to be changing our energy systems.”
“We can make more energy out of the sun and the wind and water,” he said. “If you want an economic return and the climate return on investment, then go hard investing heavily in renewable and in solutions like building batteries.”
Looking into the future, he said Australia would like to host a UN climate conference. “Hopefully in probably four years time, in 2026, everyone will be coming to Australia for the conference.”