Elizabeth Lee to join world leaders at COP26

Lottie Twyford 4 November 2021 9
Elizabeth Lee

Canberra Liberals leader Elizabeth Lee will join world leaders at COP26. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Canberra Liberals leader Elizabeth Lee will fly to Glasgow on Friday (5 November) to join world leaders and experts at COP26, saying she will use the opportunity to learn about how the ACT can meet its emissions reduction targets.

The Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Climate Action will join the delegation of the Coalition for Conservation, which is also funding the trip.

Coalition for Conservation is an independent organisation promoting conservative voices in the environmental movement in Australia and overseas.

Ms Lee will appear on two panels associated with the conference and deliver a speech while in Glasgow.


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She described the opportunity as “unique and once-in-a-lifetime” and said she’s keen to share the work the ACT has already done at a local level in order to meet its ambitious net-zero target of 2045, as well as learn from experts and world leaders.

“We know the ACT is already doing a great job in taking strong action on climate change and we know the next phase will present some challenges,” Ms Lee said.

“Whatever I can learn from world experts and then bring back will be really important for our next step in combating climate change.”

Andrew Barr

Chief Minister Andrew Barr told a budget estimates hearing last week no ACT Government representatives would attend the conference in Glasgow. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

The news of Ms Lee’s trip comes after Chief Minister Andrew Barr had told a budget estimates hearing last week no ACT Government representatives would attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

With a packed agenda now ahead of her, Ms Lee said she’s excited to network, learn and understand more about different policies and technologies from around the world.

Ms Lee said she thought it was important that voices from across the political spectrum are present for discussions around climate change.

“We all want to leave our planet just as beautiful for the next generation to enjoy. I think it is important that voices from across the political spectrum are present for discussions around climate change action,” Ms Lee said.

The ACT Government in 2018 set a zero net emissions target by 2045 with the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Principal Target) Amendment Bill 2018 that passed with tripartisan support from Labor, the Greens and the Liberals.

Ms Lee said these levels of support across the political spectrum hasn’t always been the case around the world, but that climate action wasn’t an issue she thought should be politicised.


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Ms Lee said when she was invited to the conference, she immediately reached out to ACT Greens Leader and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury, as well as Chief Minister Andrew Barr, to ask if there was anything specific she could raise on behalf of the Territory.

A spokesperson for the ACT Government confirmed the Chief Minister had now responded to Ms Lee’s notification of her trip to Glasgow and had suggested she should lobby Prime Minister Scott Morrison for more ambitious climate action targets.

Mr Barr said in a statement that “if the Canberra Liberals are serious about responsible climate action, then her paid trip is an opportunity to secure a more ambitious set of commitments from the Prime Minister”.

Ms Lee also said she met with Mr Rattenbury, who had been “warmly welcoming”, and sought to provide her with information about what she could bring back from her meetings in Glasgow.

In a later statement, the Greens leader said it “would be a shame and a waste of a plane ticket if Ms Lee returns to Canberra with no thoughts on the Federal Government’s plan.”

Earlier this year, Ms Lee and other members of the Canberra Liberals came under fire after attending an ACT Young Liberals event where a lump of Adani coal was auctioned for over $2,600.

Ms Lee said the auction of the coal had not been advertised prior to the event and neither she nor the other MLAs in attendance had been aware of it.


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9 Responses to Elizabeth Lee to join world leaders at COP26
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kenbehrens kenbehrens 8:15 pm 04 Nov 21

I seriously don’t understand why
Elizabeth is going to Scotland. As the Opposition Leader, I would have thought that her principal role would have been (on behalf of the electorate), to hold the ALP/Greens Government to account. But after previously deciding the ACT would not be represented, here we have the Chief and Mr Rattenbury giving their blessing and suggesting that maybe she could give advice to ScoMo upon her return.
It takes me back to Brendan Smyth’s decision to leave the Assembly and accept a newly created role of Commissioner for International Engagement.

    JC JC 4:09 am 05 Nov 21

    Considering her previously voiced opinion on climate change I would say this is nothing more than a PR stunt.

    The way the liberals are framing her (and not just on this issue) is cleaver, but one can never forgot a leopard never changes their spots. And we all know which side of the liberals are pulling the strings.

Estelle Estelle 3:35 pm 04 Nov 21

If Elizabeth Lee has changed her attitude to tackling climate change then that is a good thing, especially for voters who want to see action by her party. The Liberals have been in opposition for 21 years now and is still dominated by conservatives and climate change sceptics. She has previously accused the ACT government of being climate change alarmists and economic vandals. This is despite the govt being a world leader in moving the city towards alternative energy sources. She and her party have voted against every energy scheme introduced in the Assembly aimed at helping households and those doing it tough. And not to forget her attendance at the Young Liberal ball only a few months ago where she participated in the auction of a lump of coal. All Elizabeth Lee has to do now is convert the sceptics in her party. Stop preselecting Zed Seselja at every election. And have a chat to Jeremy who ridiculed students attending the climate change rally and refusing to meet with them.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 12:32 pm 04 Nov 21

That lump of Adani coal will be worth more in the future that anything the unelected UN can deliver.

    JS9 JS9 1:15 pm 04 Nov 21

    We get it CR – you enjoy cuddling coal as much as the prime minister does. Were you in fact the person who paid $2,600 for that piece of coal? Or did you use a blind trust arrangement? 😛

    MERC600 MERC600 2:15 pm 04 Nov 21

    Coal is rather handy today. The leccy generated by NSW
    sites at 1.15 this arvo was generated thus ..
    Black coal 5,333 MW
    Hydro 465
    Wind 43
    Large solar 335
    Small solar 964.

    chewy14 chewy14 3:33 pm 04 Nov 21

    Merc,
    Great post showing how renewable energy is now taking over.

    10 years ago, those figures would have been almost all Coal generation with some hydro and token wind amd solar.

    In 10 years time, it will mostly be renewable energy and storage powering the grid.

    Fantastic news.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 6:06 pm 04 Nov 21

    No big battery power? There would barely be enough renewable stuff to power the ACT today.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 6:10 pm 04 Nov 21

    I have no association with the Liberals so no, I didn’t buy it.

    I thought “blind trust” was the climate change dogma the warmists followed.

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