Australia likely to use controversial Kyoto loophole to meet Paris agreement

(The Guardian, 12 Dec 2018) New Zealand urges others not to meet emissions pledge with ‘dodgy accounting’, but UN rules unlikely to prohibit using carryover credits.

Australia appears likely be allowed to exploit a controversial climate loophole, using carryover carbon credits from the Kyoto protocol to meet its Paris agreement targets.

New Zealand has already ruled out using the carryover credits, saying it would discourage other countries from the practice.

Australia’s environment minister, Melissa Price, said Australia would meet its Paris commitment of a 26% to 28% carbon emissions reduction – “equivalent to a halving of emissions per person” – but would not comment on whether the government would use carryover credits from Kyoto to reach that target.

New Zealand’s climate change minister, James Shaw, said this week the practice of claiming credits was not in the spirit of the Paris agreement, and “we would discourage any country from using [it]”. He has previously described the practice as “dodgy accounting” and like “trying to have two meals for the price of one”.

The use of carryover credits is one of dozens of technical elements being negotiated at the UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland where 193 countries have gathered to negotiate the “rulebook” for each meeting the emissions reductions targets made three years ago in Paris.

The practice of carryover credits allows countries to count carbon credits from exceeding their targets under the soon-to-be-obsolete Kyoto protocol periods against their Paris commitment for 2030.

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The Guardian, 12 Dec 2018: Australia likely to use controversial Kyoto loophole to meet Paris agreement