News National Climate ‘not a priority’ at G20

Climate ‘not a priority’ at G20

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The Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, says her government won’t be making climate change a priority at the G20 summit in Brisbane later this year.

Ms Bishop made the remarks during the C20 summit, a gathering of civil society groups debating policy suggestions on governance, employment, infrastructure and climate change that will be put forward to the G20 agenda.

“On climate change international meetings such as the G20 cannot and should not try to cover all subjects and illuminate none,” Ms Bishop said in Melbourne.

“We must prioritise issues where there is consensus within the G20 on taking action.

“All G20 members agree that the United Nations framework convention on climate change is the right forum with the right mandate for international climate change negotiations.”

The head of World Vision Australia, Tim Costello, however, says the G20 must address issues concerning climate change.

“The G20 doesn’t always want to hear our message which says end government support for fossil fuels, invest in renewable energy efficiency because sometimes that seems to be a stumbling block to growth,” Reverend Costello said during the C20 summit in Melbourne.

“We’re certainly going to be pushing that – pushing how the finance ministers must have a climate road map.”

Brisbane is preparing to host the G20 in September, with world leaders descending on the north Australian city to look at ways to strengthen the global economy.

Reverend Tim Costello, who chairing the C20 summit, says there is real concern the Pacific will be left behind as leaders of the bigger economies nut out global economic policy.

He says it is important they put forward the issues of the Pacific countries – which are not involved in the G20.

“We are really emphasising transparency about infrastructure investment – respecting community rights, participation of communities, women, even children, in the process of how you make infrastructure decisions.”