Morning mail: Australia isolated on climate, Chauvin trial wraps up, Byron bust-up |

Good morning. The climate crisis is a hot topic today as the world gears up for virtual summit of 40 world leaders, where new commitments from the biggest carbon emitters are expected to meet the Paris agreement’s ambitions.

Australia will not be able to “fly under the radar” over climate crisis policies. International pressure on the government is expected to increase as other countries make new pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions over the next 10 years. In the US Joe Biden has promised to unveil his plan to cut emissions by 2030 before he hosts a virtual summit of 40 national leaders on Thursday. Climate diplomacy experts say they expect the focus on Australia’s position to intensify if the government sticks to its target of a 26% to 28% cut by 2030 and net zero emissions “preferably by 2050”. Scott Morrison said his government would not “sacrifice our traditional industries” in regional areas by taxing emissions to reach the goal.

Anthony Albanese will tell a clean technology and jobs summit that Australia cannot afford “further drift and time-wasting” when it comes to the transition to renewable energy because there is “huge potential” to create hundreds of thousands of secure, well-paid jobs. The Labor leader says the domestic clean-energy debate can no longer be “bogged down by negative partisan politics.” Albanese will say the looming transition will mean jobs for scientists and engineers, and miners of lithium, copper and nickel. But he will argue that the transition will also spark job creation right across the economy, including in local manufacturing,

India will soon open its coronavirus vaccination program to all adults – a measure that could further strain supplies in parts of the world reliant on Indian-made vaccines for their own campaigns. The announcement is part of a package of policies to tackle a second wave and a new local variant that has overwhelmed hospitals. Meanwhile, Greece has suspended its planned rollout of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine, and the EU may not renew its contract with AstraZeneca because of persistent shortfalls in deliveries

The Derek Chauvin murder trial has heard closing arguments, as millions in the US anxiously await a verdict over the death of George Floyd. The prosecutor said Chauvin’s “ego, his pride” led him to keep his knee in place, even as bystanders pleaded with him to stop. Chauvin’s lawyer focused on whether the officer’s actions were “reasonable under the totality of circumstances”, as Floyd fought hard against getting into a squad car. Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison on the most serious charge. The 12 jurors will be sequestered until they reach unanimous verdicts on each charge.


Byron Bay beach
A petition calling on Byron Bay business owners to refuse permission for a Netflix show to film on their premises has amassed thousands of signatures. Photograph: DarrenTierney/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Byron Bay residents are not impressed with a proposed new Netflix show, Byron Baes, and have called on the platform to scrap the TV series. Locals fear the “docusoap” about social media influencers will gloss over issues including the environment and lack of housing.

The Morrison government must explain whether it sees human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region as a case of genocide, the federal opposition says. Labor’s Penny Wong has called for Australia to consider targeted sanctions on foreign entities directly profiting from forced Uyghur labour.

The government’s plan for vaccine hubs is not necessary as GPs can administer vaccinations but lack the supply, according to Victorian doctors. One Melbourne GP clinic has the capacity to vaccinate 2,100 people a week, but was supplied with just 50 doses.

The national suicide prevention report calls for a stronger focus on reaching vulnerable people earlier. The assistant minister for suicide prevention, David Coleman, says improved mental health services with easier access can reduce suicide risk.

The world

Alexei Navalny has been transferred to a prison hospital as concerns have grown that the Russian opposition leader is dangerously ill and could die “at any minute”.

Uefa’s president, Aleksander Ceferin, has insisted that players who join the new European Super League will be banned from World Cups and European Championships if the breakaway materialises.

Nasa is celebrating the first powered, controlled flight on another planet after its Ingenuity helicopter rose into the Martian sky.

Recommended reads

Hiker in mountains
‘You realise if you turn around, it’s just as far to go back,’ says Joss Stewart. Photograph: Thomas Boehm/Alamy

When Joss Stewart’s mother died, she reassessed her priorities and rediscovered the outdoors. At 54 years old and 20kg overweight, she signed up for a 14-day trek in Nepal. This sparked a passion that led her, one foot after the other, around the world. “I have discovered I always have 25% more in my tank than I thought I did. Towards the end of a tough day, you just want to stop, you just can’t do it any more – but you realise if you turn around, it’s just as far to go back. You put one foot in front of the other and you get there in the end.”

Lovable tradies are braising huge chunks of meat and cheerfully quoting Shrek. A beautiful man cooks congee while crying and praising his Vietnamese mother. A cancer survivor is reclaiming her food dreams after regaining her sense of taste. Everyone is crying and clapping and elbow-bumping. A middle-aged man is telling a stranger he loves them while another sweetie reassures a woman making some kind of dry ice dessert mushroom that she’s a queen. Yep, MasterChef is back! And it’s been supercharged with an extra post-Covid sentimentality.

Marilyn Monroe was thought to be a keen shaver. Now influencers are getting in on the act. But is “dermaplaning” really a good idea? If you thought that that hair grew faster and coarser if you shaved regularly, don’t worry, that’s an old wives’ tale. There is no evidence that shaving encourages more rapid hair growth, although if you are quite hairy in the first place you may be aware of a bit of stubble.


In 2013 the Gillard government brought in the national disability insurance scheme, but now the Coalition government is working on an overhaul. In today’s Full Story, Luke Henriques-Gomes explains how the changes could prioritise cost-cutting rather than the needs of vulnerable people.

Full Story

Why is the Coalition changing the NDIS?

Full Story is Guardian Australia’s daily news podcast. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcasting app.


There is a fine line between focusing on the positives and burying one’s head in the sand. Stuart Dew is no fool. Nor is he deluded enough to think his Gold Coast team is a tweak or two away from morphing suddenly into a premiership contender. But listening to the Suns coach after Saturday’s match at Marvel Stadium, you would swear his team had run over the top of Western Bulldogs, not suffered a 10-goal, 62-point humbling.

The UK government has pledged it will do “whatever it takes” to stop English football clubs joining a breakaway European Super League (ESL) and announced a wider review into the governance of the sport.

Media roundup

The Australian today is looking into where 2.7m “missing” Covid vaccine doses ($) could be after 4.3m doses were delivered to Australia and just 1.6m administered so far. The Gabba might be up for a $1bn upgrade ($) as the Queensland government backs a bid for the 2032 Olympic Games, says the Courier Mail. And the Financial Review says Paul Keating has welcomed speculation the Morrison government will not meddle with the superannuation guarantee, saying it would also help the nation reduce its current account deficit ($).

Coming up

The Reserve Bank will release the minutes of its 6 April board meeting today.

There is a Senate inquiry hearing into road transport industry.

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