At the global climate negotiations in Dubai, Australia's Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said the so-called ‘abatement’ of climate pollution from burning fossil fuels - coal, gas and oil - was like a ‘goalkeeper’ that was a necessary line of defence to stop climate pollution heating the world.
The Minister’s speech came during intense talks to break a deadlock at the COP 28 meeting on a commitment to phase-out fossil fuels.
"We were startled by Minister Bowen’s defence of so-called ‘abatement’ of pollution. The reality on the ground is that there are now increasing numbers of frankly bullshit projects stating that they will remove pollution - after it’s been put into the atmosphere," said Dr. Barry Traill, Director of Solutions for Climate Australia.
"Companies keep saying they can stick carbon dioxide from the air back in the ground at scale, but there’s been a litany of expensive failures trying to do this.
"Australians are being killed by climate change. People all around the world are being killed from climate change - in droughts, fires, floods and storms driven by the heating atmosphere. We need to ignore false solutions put forward by the polluting companies.
"This commentary on ‘abatement’ was especially frustrating to hear, because much of the Minister’s speech was a clear and blunt explanation of how fossil-fuels must be removed from the world’s energy systems if we are to keep to a minimum of 1.5 degrees of warming globally.
"We applaud him for that clear-sighted call to his global colleagues. But sporting metaphors won’t help remove lots of pollution from the atmosphere. We need to sharply shift to clean, renewable energy sources."
For media comment on the COP 28 negotiations please contact Barry Traill, 0448 79444 (on Dubai time) or Sophia Walter 0476 260028 (AEDT)