The CETP is an international initiative to end international public finance for fossil fuels and to catalyse support for clean energy.
Michelle Higelin, Executive Director at ActionAid Australia said, “We welcome the Australian government’s signing of the Clean Energy Transition Partnership, a first step to supporting women and communities facing the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. In recent years, Australia has funnelled up to one-fifth of our international aid annually to multilateral development banks like the World Bank, which are still funding fossil fuel projects. Precious aid dollars should lift people in low-income countries out of poverty and advance gender equality, not fuel climate change. If implemented well, Australia has an important opportunity to exert its influence to help shift millions out of fossil fuels, and into funding clean energy and supporting communities to respond and adapt to the climate crisis.”
A 2023 joint report by Jubilee Australia Research Centre and ActionAid Australia, Hidden Cash for Fossils, found that in the five years after the Paris Agreement, Australia could have directed an estimated over AU$800 million to fossil fuel projects via its contributions to multilateral development banks.
After concerted campaigning from civil society organisations like ActionAid Australia and Jubilee Australia, Australia joins 40 other signatories to the CETP, which include the UK, United States, Germany, and Fiji.
The CETP was launched by the United Kingdom at COP26 in 2021. Australia has one year to implement its pledge. ActionAid and allies will monitor Australia’s progress to implementing the commitment to end public finance for fossil fuels overseas, including through its contributions from the aid budget to the multilateral development banks.
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”.
For more information and interviews with ActionAid spokespeople, please contact: Tim Brunero, 0405 285 547 / [email protected]