Former analyst with the Climate Change Authority Emily Byrne has joined the British High Commission in Canberra as senior policy adviser on climate and energy issues.
Ms Byrne’s role involves improving understanding between the UK and Australia on climate change issues in the respective nations, discussing approaches to the upcoming international climate negotiations in Paris in 2015 and assisting with knowledge transfers on low carbon growth between UK and Australian officials, experts, commentators and businesses.
Ms Byrne’s background in climate change policy includes two years with the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, working on Australia’s international climate engagement in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and other forums. During her time with the CCA, she contributed to the international analysis in the Targets and Progress Review and a research paper on the 2015 international climate agreement.
“The Paris summit in 2015 is a challenge – negotiating a lasting agreement to address climate change at a global level will require all countries to bring their best efforts to the table,” Ms Byrne told The Fifth Estate.
“Nobody wants another Copenhagen, but to avoid history repeating itself all countries must be willing to make strong international contributions backed by robust domestic measures. There’s cause for optimism though – there’s plenty of action on climate change all round the world and I expect the momentum will only escalate from here. It’s this action that helps drives progress in the international negotiations, as well as diplomatic efforts.
“There’s lots of common ground between Australia and the UK on climate change. They’re both strong, open economies. They’re both responsible for about the same share of global emissions, and are both countries that are watched closely around the world for how they’re acting on climate issues. And they both recognise the importance of meeting international commitments.
“Of course their domestic climate policy settings at the moment are different, but they both have a keen long term interest in addressing this global problem.”