With November's United Nations climate talks cancelled, green-leaning world leaders will be hoping the Australian government uses the downtime to rethink its controversial climate policies.
The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties, or COP26, was set to be held in Glasgow in November but has been pushed to next year due to the pandemic. A previous COP developed the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and the international pressure countries exert on each other through it continues to have a significant impact on domestic policies, including in Australia.
Australia's former top climate diplomat, Howard Bamsey, who led negotiations at a number of COPs, says despite the pandemic’s disruption to the Glasgow forum, the British government will continue to pressure Australia and other countries to increase their efforts on greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
“If the Prime Minister hasn’t heard from [his British counterpart] Boris Johnson yet, he certainly will,” says Bamsey, who is adjunct professor at Australian National University’s School of Regulation and Global Governance, and was previously Australia’s special envoy on climate change.