Morrison’s Pollution Loophole Will Weaken Pacific Climate Change Action

Prime Minister Morrison is undermining Pacific action on climate change, with new analysis from the Australia Institute revealing that his pollution loophole is equivalent to around 8 years fossil fuel emissions for the rest of the Pacific and New Zealand.

The Government plans to use Kyoto credits to meet emissions targets – a loophole that means Australia will count controversial past reductions to meet current targets – and essentially be able to keep pollution at the same level.

New research from The Australia Institute shows that if Australia uses this loophole, it would be the equivalent of around eight years of fossil fuel emissions of all its Pacific neighbours.

Australia intends to use 367 Mt of carbon credits to avoid the majority of emission reductions pledged under its Paris Agreement target, meanwhile the entire annual emissions from the Pacific Island Forum members, excluding Australia, is only about 45Mt.

By using this loophole, the federal government is giving the green light to pollution equivalent to:
• Annual emissions of 77,919,000 cars on the road
• Emissions from 95 coal-fired power plants for a whole year

“If Australia is to be a climate leader at the Pacific Island Forum, the federal government needs to show it with meaningful action – and that begins with ruling out the use of Kyoto credits to meet climate change obligations,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at the Australia Institute.

“The Government’s policy to use Kyoto credits is an insult to Pacific leaders. You can’t “step up” in the Pacific while stepping back on climate action.

“The Pacific Island Forum is focused on securing our future in the region – and there is no future without a secure and safe climate.

“Scott Morrison has a choice – Australia can be a leader in the region and a partner in combatting the impact of climate change, or we can continue to completely undermine any efforts by our Pacific partners by using these dodgy credits.”

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