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Reports Aus PM could ditch vital climate summit ignites international fury | ticker VIEWS

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The vital climate summit in Glasgow is approaching, while the Pacific Island of Tuvalu cop the brunt of climate change

The nation of Tuvalu is seeing an alarming rise in tides, with experts predicting the Island will be decimated in the near future.

Tuvalu grapples with climate change

Prime Minister Kausea Natano addresses the UN General Assembly asking some very vital questions as his country faces total submersion. These are valid but difficult moral and political questions millions of people in low-lying coastal areas continue to grapple with.

“How strong will the next tropical cyclone be?

What about our traditional culture and heritage? 

Our human rights?

Will Tuvalu remain a member of the UN if it is finally submerged? Who can help us, and will they help us?”

“Until we have answers, sustainable development for us will only be wishful thinking and a short-term goal running on borrowed time. Not a reality we can accomplish,”

“Indeed, the cost of continuous rebuilding after every tropical storm and adapting to increasing sea levels leaves little fiscal space for investment in the SDGs,

our global climate actions must focus on the root causes of climate change to break this cycle of costly and continuous rebuilding,”

Prime Minister Kausea Natano

The international community must now consider solutions to protect the rights of people affected by the impacts of climate change and to avoid chaotic responses to uncontrolled mass climate displacement.

Tuvalu’s Prime Minister explained to the assembly that one obvious sustainable solution is to stop and reverse increasing global temperatures.

Prime Minister Kausea Natano addresses the UN General Assembly

“They’ve got an avergae level of two metres above sea level,

we know climate change is already going to increase sea levels by one metre.

It also means there is massive storm surge- these Islands will be decimated.”

Scott Hamilton, Ticker Climate co-host & energy expert

COP26 in Glasgow

Climate change is high on the agenda for our world’s leaders right now, with talks taking place recently at the UN General Assembly and also the Quad meet. Major climate talks are looming at the upcoming COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference, in November.

This is seen as the most critical climate meeting in nearly ten years. However, Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, is yet to make a decision on whether he will attend the summit in Glasgow.

The Prime Minister’s office says a decision hasn’t been made, with Foreign Minister Marise Payne confirming they’re still finalising who will represent Australia at the event.

Morrison has made a few key international trips since the pandemic, in relation to the Aukus alliance and also trips to Japan and the United Kingdom. Critics are questioning how the Prime Minister can be absent from the crucial meeting, when Joe Biden and Boris Johnson will be there.

Australia has continuously been scrutinised for its unambitious emission reduction targets and its absence in adopting net-zero emissions by 2050 goal yet. Also, the Prime Minister coming under fire for Australia’s lingering commitment to the coal industry.

“Morrison recently reached out to Biden and Boris for the nuclear subs deal… so you would think he would therefore see the importance if those two leaders are making the effort to go to Glasgow…

It really is telling that he is equivocating that he’s not really serious about climate action. It’s the actions that count.”

Scott Hamilton, Ticker Climate co-host & energy expert

 

Canceling coal

As the world transitions away from coal, Australia seems reluctant to consider a future without it. Country coal towns and the Australian economy rely heavily on the coal industry. However, it is crucial that Australia now paves its way in a new direction.

The coal industry gives thousands of Australians jobs, but when the rest of the world moves away from coal, Australia’s exporting opportunities will no longer be there.

That’s why it’s essential to create a plan, so people are not left in dead-end industries and we’re in line with the rest of the world in tackling climate change. This all comes as state Energy Minister’s urge the Australian Government to put an end to coal and look at climate-friendly alternatives.

“One of the big messages coming out of that meeting [Quad] from India,

is the demand for green steel, made from green hydrogen.

Not from coal and not from fossil gas.”

Scott Hamilton, Ticker Climate co-host & energy expert

World River’s Day

World Rivers Day is a day for the celebration of our rivers and waterways, but also a day for remembering how fragile they are. Ticker Climate co-host Scott Hamilton is launching his book Sold Down The River, with co-author Stuart Kells.

This book is critical in highlighting the impact of climate change on the iconic Murray Darling Basin Rivers in Australia.

Watch this week’s full episode.

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

Climate Change

Australia set to bid for COP29, despite lack of climate action

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Australia is set to bid for the opportunity to host the COP29 climate conference, despite its lack of climate action recently

Australia’s opposition Labor party says it will bid to host the 2024 COP29 climate conference if they win the upcoming Federal Election.

They say it will be in partnership with the Pacific and Soloman Island Nations ‘if they want to.’

Australia has never hosted a United Nations climate conference but it could set them on the global stage as a leader in climate change action. 

However, Australia has been dubbed a laggard on its climate change action and may not be equipped to host such a significant event.

 

“This is a real shift in Australia’s policy…For 30 years in the history of the United Nations Climate negotiations Australia hasn’t hosted a meeting… Instead it usually shys away from them”

richie merzian, the australia institute
Richie merzian, australia institute

Australia’s rocky relationship with the Solomon Islands will make the deal even more uncertain.

A recent security pact between China and the Solomon Islands has been finalised, meaning China will build a military base just Kilometres from Australia’s borders.

Australia has recently cristicised the Solomon Islands for its friendly ties to China and how that will negatively impact Australia’s national security.

Now the biggest question is do the Pacific, and the Solomon Islands, even want to partner with Australia at COP29?

“It’s a real opportunity for Australia to gear up it’s diplomacy, to demonstrate leadership of the global stage and hopefully shake of its reputation as a laggard on climate action”

richie merzian, the australia institute
richie merzian, the australia institute

Deadly heatwave

Climate change has reared its head more frequently over recent years, including wildfires, ravaging floods, and extreme weather events.

This comes as millions of people in India and Pakistan experience a brutal heat wave that has left hundreds dead.

The high temperatures have been surfacing for the last two months, with the Government unprepared to handle it.

The heatwave is causing wide sweeping water shortages, heat stroke, and power outages.

The region has reached its highest April temperatures in 122 years.

Photo credit: New York Times

“Global warming means more extreme heatwaves, and longer heatwaves… It’s a sign of things to come.”

richie merzian, australia institute
richie merzian, australia institute

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Why it’s important to keep Putin weak and humiliated

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Three months in and Russia has intensified its offensive in the eastern part of the nation, but its gains have been slow

America’s Defence Intelligence Agency head also says between eight and 10 Russian generals have been killed as a result of the combat.

But all Moscow has gained is a small piece of Ukrainian territory in the east.

Vladimir Putin remained tight-lipped about any plans to escalate the war during his Victory Day speech.

Some fear that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine didn’t live up to his expectations, which could force him to resort to desperate measures.

However, Ticker News spoke with Eastern Europe expert Sergej Sumlenny who says it’s important to keep Putin weak and humiliated.

How does this war end?

Sumlenny says there’s no “good exit” in sight while Putin remains in power.

“He has not entered into this war to believe he’ll finish Ukraine in one to three days, or one week top,” he says.

The Eastern European expert says the Russian army has already suffered double as much losses as the Soviet Army within 10 years in Afghanistan.

“The Russian army could not achieve any significant victory. Russian President Putin on the ninth of May on Victory Day in Russia could not present any victory. And that was a huge revelation for him and he understands it,

“So I don’t see any exit strategy for him. He clearly tries to push further without any success. Like Russia delivers war criminals to The Hague, the International Criminal Court pulls out its army out of Ukraine and establish over 300 kilometre demilitarised zone on Russian territory working into Ukraine. That would be a great end,” Sumlenny proposed.

However, he acknowledges an end could take months.

“As long as this will not be provided, Ukrainian army will continue to fight back, destroying Russian military equipment killing Russian soldiers unfortunately for Russia, until Ukrainians will push Russians out of their country, it can take months, but it will be inevitable.”

Putin is dangerous, with power or without power

The West holds talks to Putin during eight years of his war on Ukraine.

The West Hall talks to Putin after he has attacked Georgia in 2000, after he annexed Crimea in 2014, after he guessed a Syria, like since 2012, and further, and it didn’t help.

Russia was invited to every international international ground like conventional platform like g20 but Russia conceals everything. And it didn’t help.

According to Sumlenny, when Putin feels to be strong, he strikes and he kills.

“He felt very strong in February this year. That’s why he attacked Ukraine, he felt desperate or threatened by all sides. And that’s not true. But he felt very strong. That’s why he attacked, so now he feels weak,” he says.

“Of course, he’s dangerous like any dictator, but it’s better to have in him desperate and weak than strong and aggressive.”

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Senate set to kill abortion rights this week

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The aftershocks of the earthquake triggered in Washington last week, with the explosive leak of the first draft of an opinion authored by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, and backed in by four other Justices, including the three radical conservatives appointed by former president Donald Trump, continue to shake the foundations of the capital and the landscape across the country

USSC Bruce Wolpe joins U.S correspondent Veronica Dudo, and ticker’s Holly Stearnes join a panel on U.S. abortion rights

The magnitude of the impact of the draft opinion is simply enormous. 

What has been accepted by well over 60% of the American people as a constitutional right – the ability of women to have access to abortion services – is about to be removed. 

There is no good that comes from going down that road of taking rights away from people. In 1856, in the Dred Scott case, the Supreme Court held that former slaves did not have standing in federal courts because they lacked U.S. citizenship, even after they were freed.

PROTESTORS IN U.S.

That decision, so outrageous, contributed to the Civil War.  In 1954, in Brown v Board of Education, the Court ruled that segregated “separate but equal” schools for Black students recognised by the Supreme Court 50 years earlier was unconstitutional as this did not afford equal protection under law – a right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment enacted after President Lincoln and the North won the civil war and ended slavery. 

The arc of justice in other words, is best when the law advances rights – not takes them away.

33 million American women between the ages of 15 and 44 living in over two dozen states across the country will be denied access to abortion services if this draft opinion is ultimately adopted. 

But nothing in the Constitution prevents Congress from enacting a law to legally establish and protect a woman’s right to have access to abortion services. 

U.S WOMAN PROTESTS

This is the basis of the Women’s Health Protection Act which passed the House last September. 

The Democratic leadership of the House recognised that what everyone is facing this week was coming, and that the best protection against overturning the precedent of Roe v Wade is through legislation. 

The bill provides that, “Congress finds abortion services are essential to health care. A health care provider has a statutory right under this Act to provide abortion services.”

This is the bill that the Democratic leadership will bring to the Senate this week.  It will fail.

No Republicans in the House voted for this bill, which passed on a party-line vote of 218-211.  There are only two Republicans in the Senate– both women, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – who support abortion rights.

All but one or two of the 50 Democrats will support it. Bu the Senate is not a democratic institution.  A simple majority vote is insufficient to pass legislation. 

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 21: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

A bill needs a supermajority of 60 votes to pass the Senate.  That is completely out of reach today for abortion rights.

The Senate could change its rules and allow the abortion rights bill to pass in this one instance by a simple majority.  But that will not happen either.

At least two Democrats oppose upending this Senate tradition, and no Republican will vote against their leadership to alter the Senate to pass a Democratic bill on abortion.

This ugly hyper-partisanship will have several ramifications. 

If this Senate cannot protect these rights, perhaps more Democrats in the Senate can.   Democrats will use this vote to target Senate seats held by Republicans that are up in the November midterm elections in states like Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Wisconsin. 

This could well energise not only Democrats but also key swing independent voters who do support, in significant numbers, abortion rights.

But the human impact on women is frightening. 

The journalist who obtained the draft opinion in the leak from the Supreme Court, and broke the story, Josh Gerstein of Politico, said this last Friday:

“And if Justice Alito’s draft opinion that we reported and made public on Monday becomes the Supreme Court’s final word on this issue, you’d have really a situation of abortion haves and have-nots across the country, where you would have many states where abortion was relatively available and probably about 26 states where abortion is banned or very, very sharply restricted. You would then have women trying to get medication abortions in those states or possibly travel through what might develop as a kind of Underground Railroad to get them out of those states and into other states where they could get legal abortions. It would be a pretty dramatic change in the availability of abortion across the country.”

Gerstein is right. This is the world we are in. 

WOMEN ACROSS THE U.S RALLY IN PROTEST

160 years after the Civil War, another Underground Railroad – this time to take women away from states with restrictive medical laws. 

A Handmaid’s Tale come to life, as Canada pledges to open its borders to American women seeking reproductive health services.

Engraved on the pediment of the Supreme Court building in Washington are the words, “Equal Justice Under Law.”

The Supreme Court’s imminent decision and the failure of Congress to enact legislation to overturn it betrays a US political system failing to protect all women equally under law.

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