This blog is written by Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Posts appear Monday & Wednesday.
It is improper for a UN official to criticize Australia’s 6-week-old election results.
At the time Christiana Figueres was born, her father was President of Costa Rica and her mother was First Lady. Later, her brother would be elected President – before becoming CEO of the World Economic Forum (the outfit that organizes the annual Davos confab), and then Chairman of the Richard Branson-funded Carbon War Room.
In other words, Christiana is a supremely well-connected child of wealth, power, and privilege. At this moment, she’s the Executive Secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC is an international climate treaty; the Kyoto Protocol is one of its dubious accomplishments.
While Christiana’s father and brother became president via democratic elections, in her case no citizens of any country voted on her candidacy. Instead Ban Ki-moon, the head of the UN, reached out his hand and appointed her to that prominent position on the world’s stage.
Let us be clear about what this means: She is a bureaucrat, a hand-picked UN employee. She speaks for no one other than her UN bosses.
As the person tasked with trying to secure a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, Figueres is supposed to be a diplomat. Her job is to coax nearly 200 countries to come to a common agreement.
So what in the world is she doing criticizing Australia’s shiny new, democratically elected government? According to an article in today’s Australian newspaper,
UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has told CNN the Abbott government will pay a heavy political and economic price for walking away from Labor’s commitments on climate change.
But Figueres has things backward. Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s freshly-minted government is doing exactly what he promised on the election trail. It is reflecting the will of the people by scrapping that country’s hated, economically destructive carbon tax.
The political consequences of which Figueres fantasizes have already occurred – past tense. Six weeks ago, the political party that introduced the carbon tax was punished. Rather than being victorious at the polls, Labor (and therefore its “commitments on climate change”) suffered a “comprehensive defeat.”
A party must win 76 seats in Australia’s House of Representatives in order to form the government. Abbott’s Liberal/National Coalition Party won 90, while Labor was reduced to 55.
It is the authors of the carbon tax who have paid a hefty political price. They have been tossed onto the refuse heap of history.
How dare Figueres say anything at all about these election results. That is not the place of a UN official.
Australians have a right to chart their own course, to decide their own fate, to determine which climate policies they’re prepared to tolerate.
When did it become the UN’s mandate to demonstrate contempt for democracy?