G20 Must Focus on Economic Agenda - Bishop
20 June 2014 at 4:55 pm
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has told C20 Summit delegates that when discussing climate change the G20 should not try to cover all subjects and instead must keep a strong focus on economic agenda.
Bishop, who was targeted by protesters at the event at the University of Melbourne, said by trying to be all things for all people, these international meetings could lose their focus.
“On climate change international meetings like the G20 cannot and should not try to cover all the subjects and thus illuminate none; trying to be all things for all people,” she said.
“We must keep a strong and focussed economic agenda for the G20. Otherwise it will lose its focus.
“And we must prioritise issues where there is a consensus, a consensus within the G20 on taking action.”
She said all G20 members agree that the United Nations framework convention on climate change was the right forum and the right mandate for international climate change negotiations.
“In fact G20 leaders have underlined their support for UN negotiation process and have done that since 2009,” she said.
“But of course the G20 continues to take practical action to progress Climate Change. For example by promoting energy efficiency and the phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies energy efficiencies is one of the most cost effective ways to reduce emissions and meet rising demand while supporting growth and development.
“Inefficient fossil fuel subsidies continue to distort energy markets and encourage wasteful consumption.
“The global cost of fossil fuel subsidies expanded to about $545 billion in 2012 despite efforts of reform.
“Eliminating subsidies such as these would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent or more by 2015. So I think there should be more of a focus on this aspect at the G20.”
Earlier this week Bishop unveiled the Federal Government’s new foreign aid policy, which aim to deliver partnership with the private sector and strengthen the way the Government asesses the performance of contractors, NGOs and multilateral organisations delivering Australian aid.
Bishop said the changes were intended to achieve better value-for-money for taxpayer dollars.