CHINA BURNING AUSTRALIAN COAL

Net Zero will not be possible if we adhere to the Rio Declaration and take responsibility for the embodied carbon in the manufactured goods we import. Principle 2 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. The global agreement to which Australia is a signatory: “States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond limits of national jurisdiction”.

Which means consumers of imported manufactured goods and exporters of fossil fuels should be held accountable for their roles in the co-production carbon dioxide emissions released at a “distance” If the planned increases in Australian coal and gas exports are realised our carbon footprint will more than double again over the coming decades. Little attention had been paid to the trade in unprocessed (or unburned) fossil fuels, which shifts responsibility for emissions from fossil fuel exporting nations and companies to the middle-consumers (the states and companies involved in producing emissions using these fuels for power or manufacturing).  Very convenient for the beneficiaries – countries such as Australia, Canada, the Russian Federation, and Saudi Arabia. This means that, in effect, consumers from developed countries have paid China to take on responsibility for more greenhouse-gas emissions. We are increasing our coal mines, we have just approved four, according to the Coal Mine Tracker, while China is increasing its Coal fired power stations to cater for its increased importation of coal.

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