Climate Change website
Climate change—its causes, consequences and responses—is a major subject of political debate in Australia and overseas. It is a subject on which there is a wealth of information produced by experts from a range of different perspectives—scientific, economic, legal, social policy and foreign affairs. It is also a subject about which even the experts are often not in agreement.
There is a surfeit of information on all aspects of climate change, and it can be hard to keep up. The Parliamentary Library has therefore prepared this climate change website to help provide senators and members of the Australian Parliament, and their staff, with accurate and timely information and background on the key issues. The website includes useful information sources and explains core concepts and developments necessary to understanding and responding to the climate change debate.
Given the breadth and complexity of the subject, the website must of necessity be regarded as a 'work in progress'. As resources allow and as events progress, further explanatory information will be added.
We welcome comments from our readers to the address below.
UNFCCC Conference in Doha
The 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took place from 26 November to 8 December 2012 in Doha, Qatar.
Major outcomes were:
- The extension to 2020 of the Kyoto Protocol, to which Australia is a party. Details on this are provided in the Parliamentary Library FlagPost What happened to Kyoto at Doha.
- The launch of the Doha Climate Gateway, which hopes to open onto a new inclusive and legally-binding global agreement by 2015, for a start date of 2020. The FlagPost Introducing the Doha Climate Gateway provides more details on this.
Australia passes legislation to link carbon price with Europe
In the evening of Monday 26 November 2012, legislation passed the Australian Senate to link the Australian carbon pricing mechanism with the European emissions trading scheme (ETS). The link is unilateral, allowing Australian participants to purchase carbon credits from the EU ETS.
The US bars its airlines from participating in the EU ETS
The newly re-elected US President, Obama, has signed a bill that "directs the secretary of transportation to prohibit U.S. airlines from participating in the EU ETS if avoiding such participation is in the public interest". Signed on 27 November 2012, the bill is the latest example of non-European countries opposing the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS. It sends yet another signal to the EU that a global approach via the International Civil Aviation Organization is the favoured option.