While global leaders were heading to the virtual United Nations Climate Ambition Summit last weekend, Australia was awarded the international Fossil Award for failing to honour its climate commitments under the Paris Accord.

In the five years since countries around the world agreed to keep global temperature increases to 1.5° Celsius through the Paris Agreement, Australia has done next to nothing to honour its commitments.

As a result, Australia was nominated for all four categories of the Climate Fossil Award alongside the likes of Russia and Brazil.

Gavan McFadzean, manager of the Climate Change and Clean Energy Program at the Australian Conservation Foundation, said that for years the Australian Government has refused to set climate targets and policies to limit warming to 1.5 degrees, even though Australia is especially vulnerable to climate impacts. 

“We’ve already suffered severe bushfires and are witnessing the demise of the Great Barrier Reef right before our eyes,” he said.

“This government agreed to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees when it signed up to the Paris Agreement five years ago, but the Morrison Government is yet to make good on that promise.”

Julie-Anne Richards, executive director of the Climate Action Network Australia, said it has been five years since the Paris Agreement and every year the Australian government has failed to take meaningful action on climate change.

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