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Obama’s University of Quensland speech and its legacy

Jason Wilson writes in TheGuardian (20.2.15) ‘Back in November, Barack Obama flew into Brisbane from Beijing, where he had announced an historic climate change agreement with China’s Xi Jinping. Having been greeted by a radiant George Brandis, Obama stood before an audience of students at the University of Queensland and rebuked the Abbott government for its approach to climate change.

‘His address affirmed the science that many in the Coalition deny: that climate change will have particularly ruinous effects for Australia, in the form of “longer droughts, more wildfires. The incredible natural glory of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened”. He pointed to Australia’s outsized production of carbon emissions and demanded that Australia “step up”, both in terms of seriously attempting to limit emissions and in contributing more to the international Green Climate Fund.

‘Before turning to his next topic he told the assembled students:

“You have the power to imagine a new future in a way that some of the older folks don’t always have.”‘

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