Australian news, and some related international items

Australian govt’s dodgy climate accounting tricks to be tested in Madrid

Australia’s ‘betrayal of trust’ emissions plan to be tested in Madrid, SMH, By Peter Hannam, December 9, 2019, The Morrison government could be forced to justify Australia’s plan to count “carry-over credits” towards the country’s Paris climate target, with a global summit set to debate eliminating their use.

The 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) meeting in the Spanish capital of Madrid is scheduled to debate the so-called “rulebook” for the goals agreed by the nearly 200 Paris signatory nations.

According to the draft “guidance on cooperative approaches“, one “option” for debate will be that “Kyoto Protocol units, or reductions underlying such units, may not be used by any Party toward its [nationally determined goals]”.

The Morrison government has repeatedly said Australia is entitled to use “surplus” units the country will generate during the Kyoto period (2008-2020) to count against the 2021-2030 Paris target.

Australia’s latest emissions projections report, released over the weekend, showed the government is planning to count 411 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO-e) from the Kyoto-agreement era. The use of such credits would mean Australia could meet its pledge of cutting 2005-level emissions 26-28 per cent by 2030 with minimal effort.

Malte Meinshausen, co-director of the Energy Transition Hub at Melbourne University and a former climate negotiator with Germany, said it was good the Kyoto option appears “to be on the table”.

The use of Kyoto credits was “a betrayal of the trust which all countries signed up to at Paris”, Professor Meinshausen said, noting New Zealand, European Union and Pacific states opposed them.

While climate laggards such as Russia and Brazil may join Australia in opposing the Kyoto “option”, “it’s a reminder that the international community does not want to give up easily the good cooperative fruits developed in Paris”, he said…….

Australia will certainly have to defend its carryover and depending on how the text evolves might find itself increasingly isolated,” said Richie Merzian, an emissions analyst with The Australia Institute and former climate treaty negotiator for the Australian government.

“There are apparently over 100 countries supporting the restriction to limit Kyoto Protocol units from being used to meet Paris Agreement commitments,” he told the Herald and The Age from Madrid.

“Australia’s usual allies – other developed countries – either have ruled out using these credits voluntarily or don’t have skin in the game,” Mr Merzian said. “Australia’s only support might come from China and Brazil keen to use their carbon market credits from Kyoto to cash into Paris.”

Adam Bandt, Greens climate spokesman, said “Scott Morrison’s dodgy climate accounting is now up in lights on the world stage.

“Australia is burning at home, and Angus Taylor is turning up at an international event asking for the right to keep on polluting,” he said…….

“[The emissions drop] is driven mainly by declines in the electricity sector because of strong uptake of rooftop solar and the inclusion of the Victoria, Queensland and Northern Territory 50 per cent renewable energy targets,” the report said.

“The government is banking on all the renewable infrastructure that they tried to kill” to meet their goals, Mr Merzian said.

Jamie Hanson, head of campaigns at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said the Liberal National coalition had long been using “dodgy accounting tricks like these so-called carryover credits to mislead the Australian public on their appalling track record on emissions”.

“Scrapping the ability to rely on carryover credits and shifty accounting is a great step towards holding governments like Australia to account over their rising emissions,” he said.

December 9, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: