As we reach the middle of the climate talks in Doha, the Australian Government's negotiating position on 'hot air', or surplus credits from earlier negotiations, is in danger of undermining the talks.
"It is extraordinary that, as global warming is being felt all over the world, as people are losing their lives, their homes and their livelihoods to extreme weather events, the Gillard Government is pushing for the rules to be weakened rather than strengthened in relation to Australia's emissions." Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne said today.
"It is immoral for Australia to be seeking to incorporate hot air plus windfall gains from forest protection in order to make a 0.5% reduction when the world is facing a climate emergency.
"The United Nations has identified 'hot air' as one of the biggest barriers to closing the emissions gap between current commitments and what is needed to avoid a two degree rise in global temperatures. Eastern European countries, such as Poland and Ukraine, have a huge volume of surplus permits which they want to carry over to the second commitment period - so-called 'hot air' as they do not represent real emissions reductions.
"Australia's position on hot air is one of facilitation. It is disgraceful.
"Australia needs to show leadership and throw its weight behind the proposal of the G-77 and China to stop 'hot air' permits undermining global efforts to negotiate a new climate change agreement in Doha.
"Wealthy and high polluting countries like Australia need to show stronger leadership at Doha. If we don't pull our weight, how can we ask poorer countries to act when rich countries like Australia refuse to accept their real burden share?
"Reports from the World Bank by leading climate scientists, the International Energy Agency and the United Nations have concluding that the planet is on track to heat by a devastating 3.5 - 4C in the decades ahead if governments fail to change direction."