Greens spokesperson for the climate crisis, Adam Bandt MP, has labelled Scott Morrison and his government a pack of climate cheats and said he has been caught out.
The government’s climate cheating strategy is in tatters because:
- Currently, the Paris Agreement rules do not allow for dodgy carryover credits and current negotiations in Madrid are moving towards explicitly banning the use of such credits, with over 100 countries rejecting their use.
- Most of the government’s claimed carryover credits rely on commitments made under Kyoto II, however advice suggests that on a strict legal basis, Kyoto II is still not in force because it lacks ratification from enough countries. If this situation remains, none of Australia’s claimed Kyoto dodgy carryover credits will have any legal basis.
- However, even if Kyoto II is in force as the government suggests, action by the rest of the world has triggered a lift in our targets, as per our Kyoto II commitment. As such, most of Australia’s claimed dodgy carryover credits will be wiped out.
Mr Bandt has written to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reductions regarding these issues. The letter was sent just days before a new Climate Analytics report, released overnight, challenged the legality of Australia’s use of carryover credits.
Quotes attributable to Mr Bandt:
“Scott Morrison is a climate cheat and he has been caught out. Not only is there no moral basis for using these so-called credits to cheat our way out of our climate commitments, there is arguably no legal basis either.
“Further, today he has doubled-down on his cheating by misleading the public and falsely saying that the concern expressed in Madrid ‘does not apply to what Australia’s practice is’. Just like his Energy Minister, Angus Taylor, when the Prime Minister is caught out fudging the numbers he doubles-down with a lie.
“Negotiations on the Paris rulebook may ultimately ban this dodgy carryover scam, but before then the government must explain why they have misled the public about our Kyoto targets.
“Action by the rest of the world has triggered a lift in our targets, and once that happens, 70% of these spurious credits disappear.
“Not only that, but it appears the legal conditions for creating these so-called credits never existed in the first place.
“If Australia cannot abide by our international obligations, we risk jeopardising international trade deals, such as the current negotiations with the European Union.
“As Australia burns and Sydney chokes, Scott Morrison must quit his climate cheating and act on the climate emergency.”
Australia’s Kyoto II commitment includes a clause to increase Australia’s targets “by up to 15% by 2020 if there is a global agreement which falls short of securing atmospheric stabilisation at 450 ppm CO2-eq and under which major developing economies commit to substantially restrain emissions and advanced economies take on commitments comparable to Australia's”.
Australia’s ratification of the Paris Agreement (and the Doha amendment, which gives effect to our Kyoto II obligations), means that the conditions for the 15% increase in Australia’s target under the second commitment period have been met. There is no longer any basis for Australia to refuse to lift its 2020 targets by up to 15%.