Environment groups say the Australian government is taking a hypocritical position on forestry to the climate conference in Poland.
The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Lindsay Hesketh says the Australian government supports the current Kyoto deal which rewards the chopping down of old growth forests to grow plantations.
“Nearly a quarter – 24 per cent of Australia’s annual human-induced emissions – those forest could soak up 24 per cent of those emissions if those forests are recognised for the carbon store that they are,” he said.
Mr Hesketh says it’s verging on the hypocritical that Australia supports payments to the developing world to stop forest destruction, but does not apply the same rule at home.
Humane Society International says a new climate mechanism must reward any country keeping forests in the ground.
The Australian Environment Minister Penny Wong was not available to comment.
She leaves for the climate conference in Poznan, Poland on Monday.