The French President thinks he is! Macron believes that Scott Morrison is saying one thing in public, whereas he knows privately that something else is the case.
What about in regards to zero emissions by 2050? Two years ago, Morrison campaigned against climate change targets, and now he is in Glasgow announcing them. Has he lied to us? Or perhaps, has he gone back on his word and changed his mind?
Like all good questions, the answer could be Yes and No.
I am not privy to the conversations between Macron and Morrison, but Australia has clearly changed its position. Whether or not we gave the French a ‘heads up’ alerting them of our likely changes, I cannot say? Lying is a strong word. It means intentionally misleading another person. It is conceivable that Morrison made certain commitments in the past, fully believing he would honour them, only to find himself backtracking on those commitments in the present.
Does Morrison believe climate change is human-induced and presents a looming disaster for humanity? Has he changed his mind on this? Or is his recent change of mind politically expedient and forced upon him by global politics? Perhaps.
I would say this. Politics is the art of the possible. Sometimes, politicians choose to restrict their goals to what is achievable in the short-term given current realities and then hope that more can be done later. Morrison’s actions may fit this description.
What we are discussing is tension. We may have strongly held values or principles. But at certain times, it is possible that our ideals are not achievable. When do we hold onto a principle, and when do we compromise because something is better than nothing?
Difficult questions, but I am not sure Morrison has nailed this one.
Rev David Rietveld