Australia’s decision to join the Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP) - also known as the Glasgow Statement - will help end the billion dollar pipeline of taxpayer money to fossil fuel companies coming from federal export finance and foreign aid programs.
In signing on to the CETP, Australia has caught up with over forty countries and multilateral institutions who have already made the pledge, including the USA, the UK, Denmark, France, Sri Lanka and Canada. Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen stated the move "demonstrates Australia's ambitions to play an active role in building a net zero economy, while aligning our international investments with the goals of the Paris Agreement."
Export credit agencies (ECAs) remain the world’s largest international public financiers of fossil fuels, often underwriting oil and gas projects that are struggling to attract private investment. Without this taxpayer-funded support, some, if not many, of these projects may fail to get off the ground.
“The Albanese government is taking the long-overdue step of acknowledging that foreign aid and export financing should not be squandered on fossil fuel expansion – which is bad for people, the planet and our economies” stated James Sherley, Climate Justice Campaigner at Jubilee Australia Research Centre.
The agreement in the CETP gives the Albanese government one year to codify this transition to a fossil-free Export Finance Australia and Overseas Development Assistance.
“We welcome this announcement as a first step on the road to phasing out fossil fuels. We have seen other countries around the world renege on their commitment to the CETP, and we don’t yet know the full scope of how the reform will be applied. Delivering on this promise will require meaningful implementation which we will be monitoring closely. We hope that signing the CETP signals a broader, genuine effort from Australia to restore its reputation on the international stage" said James.
Australia’s decision to sign comes after a group of nine Pacific Island civil society groups issued an open letter urging the Australian government to make the pledge as a first step on the road to phasing out fossil fuels.
Flora Vano, Country Manager at ActionAid Vanuatu, stated in the letter that “Australia, as our big sister in the Pacific, must listen when we say there can be no more investment in fossil fuels if Pacific communities like mine are to survive”.