Cop: Australia to stop financing overseas fossil fuels

  • 05/12/23

Australia has signed up to the clean energy transition partnership (CETP), committing it to end new direct public support for unabated fossil fuels overseas within a year.

Australia joins 40 other signatories of the agreement, which was launched in 2021, at the UN Cop 26 climate summit in the UK. Norwegian prime minister Jonas Gahr Store said on 3 December at Cop 28 that his country would also join the CETP.

"After a decade of denial and delay, Australia is finally being taken seriously as a constructive international trading partner and investor determined to take meaningful action on climate change", the country's climate change and energy minister Chris Bowen said.

CETP signatories include the US, Canada and the UK — which launched the agreement — as well as many EU member states. G7 countries in 2022 reiterated the pledge, which committed Japan to stop funding fossil fuels abroad. But key signatories, including Germany and Italy, are still investing in gas projects. A G7 caveat, "recognising the importance of national security and geostrategic interests", has opened a loophole.

If every signatory meets its commitment, it could funnel upwards of $19bn/yr from fossil fuels to renewable energy, a study from the Institute of International Development found last year. Some signatories have kept to the commitment, including the European Investment Bank, the UK, France, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and New Zealand.

"Joining the CETP further aligns our international public support with Pacific priorities", Australian foreign minister Penny Wong said. Australia and Pacific island nation Tuvalu in early November signed an agreement for citizens of Tuvalu to live, study and work in Australia, recognising that "climate change is Tuvalu's greatest national security concern".


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