Australian PM accused of "deceit" over false emissions reduction claim

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-14 11:41:05|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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CANBERRA, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been accused of using fake figures to mislead Australians about his government's record on reducing emissions.

During an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) television on Sunday, Morrison claimed that Australia's annual greenhouse gas emissions are "50 million tonnes less on average" under the coalition government "than under the previous government."

However, according to the The Sydney Morning Herald report, official data released by the government, Australia produced 530 million tonnes of emissions in 2019 compared to 533 million tonnes in 2014, the first full year of the coalition government.

The Opposition Labor Party has branded Morrison's claim "unconscionable."

Australia's annual emissions fell from 622 million tonnes in 2007, when Labor won power after 11 years in opposition, to 538 million tonnes when the party was ousted from government in 2013.

"Mr Morrison's fake number distorts the data and takes credit for reductions actually achieved under the former Labor government, not the Coalition," Pat Conroy, Labor's climate change assistant spokesman, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

"At a time of public concern about climate change, Australia deserves better than deceit and inaction from their prime minister on emissions reduction."

Australia has committed to reducing emissions by 5 percent from the 540 million tonnes produced in 2000 by 2020 under the Kyoto Protocol.

Stephen Howes, director of the Development Policy Centre at Australian National University (ANU), warned that latest projections showed Australia was on track to achieve a reduction of only 1.5 percent.