28 Jan NZ basted for climate ‘hypocrisy’
Greg Brown – The Australian – Tuesday 28 January 2020
Coalition MPs have accused New Zealand of hypocrisy over climate change, as the Ardern government looks set to use carry-over credits to hit its 2020 Kyoto target despite its opposition to Australia using the credits to meet its Paris reductions target.
Liberal MP Jason Falinski said New Zealand was showing a “lack of consistency and standards” in criticising countries using Kyoto carry-over credits for Paris targets.
New Zealand plans to use 27.7 million tonnes worth of credits from outperforming the 2012 target to meet this year’s Kyoto deadline of reducing emissions by 5 per cent on 1990 levels. While New Zealand must use credits to meet its 2020 target, Australia is forecast to beat its 2020 target by 287 million tonnes without the use of the carry-over mechanism.
“It is a question of actually holding countries accountable for whether they have exceeded their targets or not met them,” Mr Falinski said.
“At the moment, no one wants to hold people accountable when they didn’t meet their targets so we introduced carry-over credits.
“There is actually a rational reason for applying carry-over credits: to encourage people to exceed their targets when they can and not reward people who don’t meet their targets.”
Victorian senator James Paterson said carry-over credits were a “legitimate feature of global climate agreements”.
“It’s entirely appropriate for Australia to reserve the right to get credit for its success in reducing emissions,” Senator Paterson said.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who said Australia had “to answer to the Pacific” for its climate change position, piled pressure on Prime Minister Scott Morrison at last year’s Pacific Islands Forum to back a UN commitment to a carbon-neutral economy by 2050, which her government has agreed to do.
But New Zealand government figures show the country is forecast to fail to meet its Paris target to reduce emissions by 30 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030.
New Zealand Climate Change Minister James Shaw said last week there was an “allergic reaction” to using carry-over credits to meet 2030 Paris targets despite NZ’s use of carry-over credits to meet its 2020 target.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Shaw said he was opposed to countries using Kyoto credits to meet their Paris targets.
“Broadly speaking, around the world, there is I guess an allergic reaction to it,” Mr Shaw said.
“When the Paris Agreement was being negotiated there was no question it replaces the Kyoto Protocol, so there was never any real question that you would carry over units from the Kyoto period.”
Barnaby Joyce was also among government MPs who took aim at the New Zealand comments.
“They say in the country when your neighbour starts quoting the Bible, start counting your sheep,” Mr Joyce said.
“And when New Zealand starts quoting environmental policy, start counting your carbon credits.
“We don’t need to be lectured about our environmental policy when we are complying with our international agreements.
“They should listen closely to me because I nearly won New Zealander of the year.”
Mr Joyce was forced to resign from parliament and recontest the seat of New England in 2017 after it emerged that he was a New Zealand citizen.
LNP senator Gerard Rennick declared Australia could reduce its domestic emissions by deporting the more than 600,000 New Zealanders living in Australia.
“New Zealand shouldn’t be preaching to us given that we count the carbon credits from the more than 600,000 New Zealanders here,” Senator Rennick said.
“Maybe in order to meet our targets it might be easier to send 600,000 Kiwis back to New Zealand rather than making Australian citizens have their livelihoods curtailed. They drive cars and turn their lights on at night, and everything like that.”