“Well done,” tweeted the NSW environment minister, Matt Kean, to the Prime Minister
There were many responses, but federal MP Zali Steggall’s was to the point:
“Are you kidding? A pat on the back for committing not to cheat but still no commitment to Net Zero? Come on, Aus needs leadership, not spin.”
She referred to a report in The SMH that the Prime Minister intended not to use the controversial Kyoto carry-over credits to achieve its emissions reduction targets.
It seems the worldwide embarrassment for using this scandalous accounting trick has become too much for the Prime Minister.
“Morrison signalled a political retreat on the issue in late November, saying in a speech, ‘my ambition is that we will not need them, and we are working to this as our goal, consistent with our record of over-delivering’.”
Goodness, does he mean like Robodebt and Sports Rorts, for example?
And there was Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman on the ABC’s Saturday news program telling Australia that we were on track to meet our target without using the carry-over credits. No mention as to how this was possible.
They are so pathetic and simultaneously self-congratulatory about a fall in our emissions. Still, they neglected to add that we have experienced it because there have been fewer cars on the road, businesses have been closed, and no planes in the air. Whoops, I just conveniently forgot such things.
What a turnaround it has been. For years Morrison has said that Australia was entitled to use the surplus carry-over credits but never justified why. The fact is, he rarely mentioned them. He just said that Australia would meet its targets.
“Mr Morrison’s stance will be a significant shift after years of government claims that Australia is entitled to use “surplus” units. The country accumulated them when meeting the Kyoto Protocol targets from 2008 to 2020 were negotiated and counted toward the Paris targets from 2021 to 2030.”
The latest national figures on greenhouse gases, released last Monday, came with an estimate that Australia would beat its 2020 316 million tonnes without relying on the credits. I agree with Malcolm Turnbull in being a bit sceptical about that given their record on ‘nonconditional announcements’.
Mr Turnbull said: ‘I welcome any advance, but a 28 per cent 2030 target – given the developments since 2015 – will be seen and will be a very cautious and hardly ambitious goal’.”
In response, the leader of the opposition leader Anthony Albanese said:
“… it was a ‘rather pathetic announcement by Scott Morrison’ not to use Kyoto credits, ‘as if that’s a positive’. ‘The rest of the world rejected that as an accounting trick,’ he said. ‘What we need is a plan to reduce emissions, not a plan for accounting tricks’.”
And Greens leader Adam Bandt chipped in, saying:
“… the government ‘deserves no applause’ for giving up the use of the credits, which he likened to ‘cheating’ on global pledges to reduce emissions.
At the upcoming climate ambition summit, when Australia announces its targets, this announcement will, compared with nations like the United Kingdom with a target to cut their emissions by 68% by 2030 levels, will seem miserly.”
Even without the use of credits, Australia will have to do much better than it is proposing. Our targets will be measured as insufficient when compared with other nations.
When one thinks back to the Coalition’s rejection of Labor’s ‘carbon tax’, one cannot but regret that decision’s folly. Had they agreed, it would have become a successful emissions trading scheme and we would have been leading the world.
My thought for the day
In terms of the environment, I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today.
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