Guest essay by Eric Worrall

As demand for Australian coal soars to new records, Democrat John Podesta has threatened “consequences” over Australia’s defiance of Biden’s global climate initiative. But there are forces in motion which make the Biden administration’s climate demands a geopolitical irrelevance.

Podesta: Quad will demand Australia does more on climate change

By Latika Bourke
April 28, 2021 — 11.58pmSaveShareNormal text sizeLarger text sizeVery large text size

London: Senior Democrat John Podesta has warned Australia will be confronted by its fellow Quad members over its weak carbon reduction targets as the Biden administration places climate change at the heart of its security agenda.

Podesta, a political consultant, chairs the Washington-based Centre for American Progress, ran Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and co-chaired the Obama transition committee in 2008.

Speaking to the podcast Rekindling Hope hosted by Labor’s climate spokesman Chris Bowen and former Labor candidate Sam Crosby, Podesta said Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s insistence that technology will sort out emissions reductions “is just not going to cut it”.

“The Biden administration is going to expect a lot more than they got at the summit out of the government,” Podesta said. “Everybody’s moving and Australia is left behind and at the end of the day that’s going to have important consequences.

Biden’s net-zero emissions goal by 2050 is shared by Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Both India and Japan pledged higher cuts than originally planned for 2030.

However, like Morrison, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not pledge any new goals for slashing India’s carbon output – the developing giant is the world’s third-largest emitter.

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Why is Australia so relaxed about ignoring the Biden administration’s climate threats?

The reason is our Asian market. Asia needs Australian coal, and iron ore, like never before.

An increasingly aggressive China is pouring money into expanding a naval fleet which already by some measures matches the firepower of the US Navy, at least for near shore operations in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait.

China’s neighbours, including India, are increasingly alarmed at China’s growing naval power, and have quietly initiated emergency military buildups of their own. Vietnam, which for much of the last 2000 years has either been occupied by or at war with China, is building up their maritime militia. Even Japan is building up its military, to counter the growing China threat. Taiwan of course is also taking the China threat very seriously.

Trillions of dollars are being poured into preparations in Asia for the next major military confrontation, and Australia is cashing in, selling coal and iron ore to whoever asks for it, including China. A substantial share of the soaring military budgets of Asian superpowers is being spent on the purchase of Australian coal and iron ore.

With money of that magnitude on the table, and the promise of much more to come, nobody in the Australian government cares what the Biden administration has to say about carbon tariffs, climate change or reducing Aussie coal exports.

Canada’s green Prime Minister Justin Trudeau once said “No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and leave them there“. I guess that applies just as much to Australia’s coal and iron ore bonanza.

via Watts Up With That?

April 29, 2021 at 12:18AM