As Australia picked up its shameful fourth Fossil of the Day award at the Lima climate talks Thursday (11/12/14), Climate Action Tracker (CAT) released a new analysis showing that creative accounting and years of diplomatic manoeuvring are allowing Australia to increase emissions while still meeting its minimum five per cent reduction commitment. CAT says in real terms Australia’s emissions are likely to be 26 per cent above 2000 levels by 2020, and a huge 47-59 per cent above its original Kyoto pledge.

Yet while its actual emissions are soaring, Australia can still meet its already lax commitments with barely any action thanks to being selective on baseline emission sources, and its creative approach to accounting for land use change and forestry. Australia has now taken to making threats if it is not allowed to use these favourable rules, which would allow it to emit a further six per cent more carbon on top of its already worst-in-show per capita emissions.