19 Dec 2019

Australia's regional credibility dented by climate stance - researcher

2:08 pm on 19 December 2019

Australia's credibility in the Pacific has been further dented by its actions at last week's UN climate summit, a researcher says.

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The talks in Madrid, known as COP25, ended on Sunday with key questions about the implementation of the Paris agreement delayed to next year.

That was caused by a small bloc - which included Australia, the US, and Brazil - opposing a push for higher ambition, and blocking strict regulations around carbon markets.

Pacific countries condemned Australia's isolated stance of wanting to use carryover credits from the Kyoto Protocol of the 1990s to meet its Paris agreement targets, with Fiji's attorney general calling the region's biggest country the "black sheep" of the family.

Richie Merzian, a former Australian climate negotiator who's now with the think-tank the Australia Institute, said Australia's stance left many feeling bitter.

"A number of countries have been singled out, and Australia is amongst them, for only being interested in doing as little as possible in getting their way," he said.

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