Report blasts ‘reckless and unnecessary’ Kyoto credits

The Australian government’s use of carry-over carbon credits to extinguish half of its Paris Agreement target has been blasted as ‘reckless and unnecessary’ by The Australia Institute.

In releasing its report into the use of Kyoto Protocol carry-over credits in meeting the country’s Paris Agreement carbon abatement obligations, the Institute identified what it calls ‘numerous legal, diplomatic and ethical barriers’ in the Government’s approach.

Key points identified in the analysis include:

  • Australia has already explicitly agreed, in Clause 106 of the Paris Agreement decision, to encourage cancellation of surplus Kyoto credits and not use them to meet Paris targets.

  • Kyoto Protocol rules limit the ability to carry over credits between non-consecutive periods.

  • Other developed countries in the Kyoto Protocol such as Germany have ruled out using surplus credits and are encouraging Australia to follow suit, in the spirit of the Paris Agreement.

  • On the international stage, Australia has reputation for historically exploiting international climate agreements and will face diplomatic opposition to securing further loopholes.

  • At the Government’s own figure of $50/tonne for an international carbon permit in 2030, it could cost the government over $18 billion to make up gap from relying on Kyoto credits.

“Australia Institute analysis shows that the use of Kyoto credits is unethical, undiplomatic and undermines the Paris Agreement” says Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at The Australia Institute.

“The Government maintains its climate action plans are fully costed but is yet to confess that it could cost up to $18 billion to purchase international permits to make up the gap left by its reliance on unauthorised Kyoto credits.

Mr Merizan warned that Australia had lost all of its goodwill negotiating power in its approach to climate change.

The full report can be found here.

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