Australia's "constructive" role at the United Nations climate change talks in Poland was undermined by its continued support for fossil fuels at home, experts say.
The two week-long summit ended in the city of Katowice on Sunday with an agreement on a so-called rulebook to increase transparency of national emissions-reduction pledges made three years earlier at the Paris Conference of the Parties (COP21).
But negotiators from nearly 200 countries deferred other decisions, including how to raise aid for developing nations and standard accounting rules for carbon credits, until next year's conference in Chile or possibly later.
The guidelines set out how those countries will report and monitor national emissions pledges. Nations will also be under pressure to lift their goals by 2020 as current targets fall far short of the Paris agreement to keep global warming to well below 2 degrees.
The Polish climate package, agreed a day over schedule, coincided with Labor's national conference in Adelaide, where protesters urged Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to stop the Adani coal mine in Queensland.
Australia's role at Katowice included leading the so-called Umbrella block of nations although the country copped flak for its presence at a pro-coal event and staying silent on issues such as human rights and debate over a key science report on the impacts of 1.5 degrees of warming.
Economist Frank Jotzo from the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU, said the outcome of the overall negotiations showed the UN's climate efforts were "holding tight".
"The main goal was to agree on the rules from the Paris agreement, and that has been achieved."
Professor Jotzo said Australia appeared to have played a "constructive" role in negotiations.
He said the revised emissions targets outlined in the rulebook would be "an important point for Australia" going forward, particularly with next year's looming federal election.
"An important political decision will be whether [the government] puts forward a stronger target that 26 to 28 per cent [from 2005 levels by 2030], and if so, how strong and under what conditions.
"If there's a change in government at the next election, a Labor government would need to pay attention to the issue of a revised target fairly soon."
Mr Shorten reiterated on Sunday that an ALP government would lift the reduction target to 45 per cent.
Environment Minister Melissa Price did not respond to requests for comment. Ms Price last week reiterated the Morrison government's confidence Australia will meet its 2030 goal of cutting 2005-levels of carbon pollution by just over a quarter.
But independent MP Kerryn Phelps said Australia had "missed a great opportunity to stamp out a position as a global leader in renewable energy technologies".
"Australia has the technical capacity and the raw materials to be a world leader, but we appear to be aligning ourselves with countries that seem to want to continue their reliance on fossil fuels."
Her criticism was echoed by Simon Bradshaw, who was at the conference as climate change adviser for Oxfam Australia, which is a member of the Climate Action Network.
"Australia’s credibility in the talks has been hampered by our lack of action back home. As ever, there was strong concern over Australia’s rising emissions and the proposed Adani mine.
Dr Bradshaw said the government had further harmed its reputation by lining up next to the Trump administration at a side event promoting fossil fuels, and by continuing to push its coal agenda at home.
"While Australia played a fairly constructive role in some of the more technical aspects of the negotiations, it was squarely among those looking to lower the ambition of the outcome."
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