Europe is unhappy with Australia’s decision to drop climate change from the G20 agenda and is lobbying the Abbott government to reconsider. Tony Abbott doesn’t want the G20 agenda “cluttered” by topics that would take the focus from his top priority of economic growth.
European Union officials say Australia has become completely “disengaged” on climate change since Tony Abbott was elected in September last year.
They are disappointed with the Prime Minister’s approach, saying Australia was considered an important climate change player under Labor.
One well-placed EU official has likened the change to “losing an ally”.
The EU has a long-running emissions trading scheme which was going to be linked to Australia’s market.
But Mr Abbott has pledged to scrap the carbon price in favour of his direct action policy.
Europe is sceptical of Mr Abbott’s replacement plan.
“You have a huge amount of scientists and economists saying the direct action policy isn’t going to work,” the official, who did not want to be named, said in the Belgian capital Brussels this week.
The well-placed official was particularly critical of Mr Abbott’s decision not to have climate change on the agenda when the leaders of the world’s 20 richest nations gather in Brisbane later this year.
Mr Abbott has said he doesn’t want the G20 agenda “cluttered” by topics that would take the focus from his top priority of economic growth.