Scott Morrison says he is “very confident” Australia will not use its controversial carry-over credits to help meet Paris Agreement targets but has not committed to abandoning them.

Scott Morrison has continued to step back from his controversial use of “carry-over credits” to help meet Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets but has not committed to abandoning them.
Key points:

  • Australia has promised to cut 26 to 28 per cent of its emissions by 2030
  • Pacific nations have criticised the the use of carry-over credits to tackle climate change
  • The practice is not banned but few other countries are doing it

He told a virtual meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum leaders that he was “very confident” Australia wouldn’t need to use the credits to reach Australia’s Paris agreement emissions reductions target.
But he did not renounce their use, as advocates of stronger climate action had hoped.
“The credits that have been gained by over-achieving on our targets were hard-earned. They are a product of Australia’s action,” Mr Morrison said.
“Today I can announce that Australia is very confident that we will now achieve our 2030 target without the need to draw on our carry-over credits.”
Mr Morrison has flagged changes to its carry-over credit policy earlier.Australia has promised to cut its 2005 emission levels by 26 to 28 per cent before 2030 as part of the Paris Agreement.
According to current projections, Australia will only be able to meet those targets by claiming carry-over credits: a controversial method of emissions accounting that uses credits gained under the Kyoto Protocol toward the Paris Agreement.
Australia’s use of the credits has been widely condemned, particularly by Pacific Island leaders.
Last year they signed the Nadi Bay Declaration, which called on countries to “refrain from using carry-over credits” to meet their climate change commitments.
Pacific leaders press for aggressive action despite COVID-19 pandemic
At the opening of the Pacific Island climate forum timed to mark five years since the Paris Agreement Pacific island leaders pressed wealthy nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said COVID-19 “must not delay” high-polluting countries from achieving a net-zero emissions economy.
“We must seize the opportunity this fateful moment gives us to build a global economic recovery that stimulates climate-smart and inclusive sustainable development,” Mr Bainimarama said.
“We must not stand idly by and watch the world’s most vulnerable countries suffer.”
Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Bob Loughman outlined the unique predicament Pacific islands face in trying to cope with the devastating effects of both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
He pointed to his country’s experience during the category five Cyclone Harold, that struck Vanuatu while its borders were closed because of the pandemic.
“Cyclone Harold was a stark reminder that, notwithstanding the current impacts of COVID-19, climate change remains the biggest threat facing humanity today,” Mr Loughman said.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that next year, her Government would announce their first “emissions reduction plan” to make a “meaningful impact” on climate change within the next 10 years.