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UNFCCC: ‘You’re late!’. Australia: ‘Mate, It’s Summer – I’m on Holiday: p*ss off!’

July 19, 2012

Who would think of demanding homework in the middle of the summer holidays?  The UNFCCC, apparently.  The international climate cops are apparently stroppy with the Ozzies being on the beach in the summer holidays, rather than delivering school work.

This week the UNFCCC published its review of Australia’s fifth national communication to the UN agency.  The reports are a mandatory part of any signatory country’s obligations to the international climate pacts, and provides an update on national progress towards a spread of objectives.

The national communication report itsself is dull.  The UNFCCC review report on the national communication is as full of bureacratic mumbo-jumbo speak as you could hope for from such a document.

It’s seriously dry.  But thankfully there’s a moment of light entertainment:

Under ‘Introduction’, Section B, part 3 ‘Timeliness’ lies the following gem:

The NC5 was submitted on 12 February 2010, after the deadline of 1 January 2010 mandated by decision 10/CP.13. Australia informed the secretariat about its difficulties with the timeliness of its national communication submission on 24 December 2009 in accordance with paragraph 139 of decision 22/CMP.1. The ERT noted with concern the delay in the submission of the NC5.

Australia, being in the southern hemisphere, basically downs tools from anywhere between mid-December and mid-to late February.  Australian’s have a pretty healthy approach to the work-life balance at the best of times: it’s the lucky country, after all.  But in the summer? Forget about it!

The UNFCCC is based in Bonn.  We can understand why a Modlovan and an Austrian (the lead reviewers) might not be able to share the relaxed approach to a UNFCCC deadline, arbitrarily prescribed to fall in the middle of BBQ and cold beer time.

They really should have had a clue about this though.  They even helpfully state the following:

Australia is a large country situated in the southern hemisphere and is the driest inhabited continent on Earth, although the climate is highly diverse across the country. The climate is heavily influenced by the oceans and is temperate in the south, subtropical and tropical in the north, and hot and dry inland. Most of the population is concentrated along the coastal areas in the east and south-east and to some extent in the south-west; the rest of the country is sparsely populated.

It’s a lesson in reading between the lines, U-N-O-Crats: it’s hot and dry with lots of beaches, so in the summer you’ll likely find us planted on the sand sipping a cold one.

Oh – in summary the UNFCCC report basically just regurgitates everything that the original Australian report states.  The review recognises that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions growth derives from population and economic growth, and industrial and electricity generation structure.

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