Weltnachrichten – AU – Mathias Cormann tests Covid negatively as the campaign for the OECD job puts the coalition’s climate record in the spotlight


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The British opposition has reportedly written to Boris Johnson urging the UK to oppose the former Treasury Secretary’s nomination

Former Finance Minister Mathias Cormann tested negative for coronavirus seven times while crossing Europe and traveling to South America as part of his government-sponsored campaign to lead the OECD.

Guardian Australia has confirmed that Cormann also tested negative for Covid-19 at the start of his self-quarantine in Western Australia, where he will be staying after returning to the country on Thursday.

After Scott Morrison said his former minister would need to use a Royal Australian Air Force plane as a precaution to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus, Cormann used his time in self-quarantine to make a number of other calls to OECD ambassadors and ministers as part of its ongoing campaign to lead the global body.

The revelations of his coronavirus precautions come as Cormann faces renewed pressure on the government’s climate record. The British opposition reportedly wrote to Boris Johnson urging the UK to oppose the Australian’s nomination.

The nine newspapers report that Labor trade spokeswoman Emily Thornberry used the letter to argue that Cormann’s report on climate change was « one of denial, inaction, and deeply declining moves on issues such as emissions trading, carbon pricing and fossil fuel is an investment « .

Cormann replied to the story on Sunday: “I am absolutely determined to take ambitious and effective measures against climate change. The challenge in Australia and around the world is not whether to address climate change but how to do it in an effective and cost-effective way. ”

Cormann promised that if he were appointed Secretary General of the OECD, he would « use every lever available through the organization to lead and promote ambitious and effective action against climate change as a top priority ». .

Morrison was banned from speaking at the UK, France and UN climate summit this weekend after concerns that Australia would not announce a significant improvement in its international commitments.

Instead, Morrison said at a summit of Pacific heads of state and government that he was « very confident » that Australia would not have to fall back on Kyoto Protocol loan transfers to meet its Paris Agreement targets by 2030.

Labor climate spokesman Mark Butler said Sunday that Morrison’s inability to get a speaker position was « not surprising as the rest of the world has been making it clear for years that Australia is a latecomer to climate change under this Liberal / National Government ».

Cormann is committed to assuming the role of Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and Guardian Australia previously reported that he was accompanied by a doctor on his travels.

Under the rules of the Washington government, Cormann was recognized as a government traveler and therefore did not have to go to hotel quarantine after returning to the state on Thursday.

Although this is not classified as an « exception », a so-called G2G passport had to be applied for from the police in Washington. Cormann is now alone in a Washington police-approved residence making campaign-related calls.

Guardian Australia has been told that Cormann has performed numerous coronavirus tests overseas, all of which returned negative results, and also performed negative tests two days after his self-quarantine. Another test is on 11. Due day.

Cormann’s month of travel through Europe included meetings with government officials in Turkey, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Austria, the Slovak Republic, Hungary and France.

Although he was abroad, he also held virtual meetings with ministers from Iceland, Norway, Finland, Estonia and Italy.

Cormann had on 3. A formal interview-style meeting with OECD ambassadors in Paris on December 12th and then met with heads or deputy heads of key international bodies such as the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, the International Labor Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Cormann’s deployment of a RAAF Falcon aircraft – at an estimated cost of around $ 4. $ 300 an hour of flight time – has generated domestic criticism at a time when ordinary Australians have been taking videoconferencing.

However, the government defended the campaign on the basis that the OECD has an important role to play in shaping global rules and will help coordinate the economic recovery from the pandemic.

« The reason he has to do this on the Air Force jet is because Covid is widespread in Europe, » Morrison said last month.

After his time in Europe, Cormann traveled to Chile and Colombia – the latter has about 9 a day. 000 new Covid-19 cases registered – to meet with ministers and the Colombian Vice President before returning to Australia.

Cormann hopes to replace Ángel Gurría as secretary general when the Mexican resigns next year, but faces nine other candidates, most of them from Europe.

One of the other candidates is the Swedish candidate Cecilia Malmström, who has close ties to the European member states of the OECD, having worked for four years as EU commissioner for home affairs, before taking on the role of the EU from 2014 until last year. Trade Commissioner took over.

The OECD says the chair of its selection committee will soon hold confidential consultations with individual members « to narrow down the field of candidates and ultimately identify the candidate around whom a consensus for appointment can be established ». .

While Cormann has sought to upgrade his economic qualifications as Australia’s longest-serving finance minister, some analysts say the government’s climate record could be a major drag on his prospects, as the OECD is and has long been argued for being dominated by European countries stronger global action on this issue.

While Cormann in his OECD promotional material allows space for different countries and regions to differ in their precise policy responses, he has promoted a vision in which, under his leadership, we “can come together to share ideas about our collective endeavors to exchange for green recreation on our way to a low-emission future « .

Mathias Cormann, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

Weltnachrichten – AU – Mathias Cormann tests Covid negatively as the campaign for an OECD job puts the coalition’s climate record in the spotlight

Ref: https://www.theguardian.com

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