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Australia risks becoming 'global pariah' of climate change

SYDNEY, July 13 — Australian climate experts have warned the country risks becoming a "global pariah" if the government does not step up its efforts to tackle climate change.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters on Monday Australia's post-2020 carbon emissions reduction target would be discussed at a party room meeting when parliament resumes on Aug. 11.

Leaders of Abbott's political party have previously called on his government not to impose post-2020 emissions reductions targets.

Australia is due to announce its goal by mid-2015.

The Climate Council of Australia on Monday said with all G7 countries, except Japan, most countries see outlining their new emissions reduction targets ahead of the Paris summit in December in their national interest to take accelerating action.

"This is likely the first time in recent history that Australia has come under such sustained criticism from other countries over its domestic policies," chief councilor Tim Flannery said.

The Climate Council was formed to provide independent, authoritative advice to Australia's public after the Abbott government abolished the government's Climate Commission when elected. The council is formed by the sacked members of the climate commission.

Fairfax Media revealed on Sunday the Australian government directed its "green bank" not to back any further investment into renewable technologies such as solar and wind.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation's — Australia's green bank, a neutral organization free from political influence — original purpose was to develop a mature lending market that would eventually encourage Australia's private banks to invest in renewable energy.

The government said the change means the bank will focus on new, rather than established or "mature" technologies.

However, critics have said Abbot is using the new directive of the green bank for his own ideological purposes, setting the bank up to fail after two fruitless attempts to abolish it.

"The message being sent to renewable energy investors by our federal government is 'look elsewhere — don't spend your money in Australia and don't create jobs here'," South Australian Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter said.

Hunter said he will meet his Australian interstate counter this week and they will call on Australia's federal government to end its ideological opposition to renewable energy. (PNA/Xinhua)


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