The Fijian Prime Minister has taken a veiled swipe at Australia in his opening speech to the United Nations climate change conference, saying some countries were only paying "lip service" to climate science.
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama appeared to target Australia's push to count its emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol in meeting the Paris Agreement in the speech in Madrid overnight.
"Instead of taking ambitious steps forward, we're seeing backwards attempts to re-write the Paris Agreement and bring in credits that have already been created under the Kyoto Protocol," Mr Bainimarama said.
Australian officials said recently they believe Australia is the only country seeking to use so called "carry-over credits" from its emissions reduction commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to meet its commitments under the current Paris Agreement.
According to the Australian government, the country's "over-achievement" of its commitments under the previous Kyoto agreement can be counted towards the current reductions target.
It's been reported up to 100 countries are seeking to have this disallowed under the agreement to come from the current conference in Madrid.
"The Pacific is concerned that humanity is on the cusp of a terrifying scenario: the abandonment of science," Mr Bainimarama said.
"While our climate change projects have to be science-driven and evidence-based in order to be approved, certain actors are happy to pay lip service and not meet the demands that well-established science has revealed.
"Worse still, others have put on blinders, and are denying the very existence of an immense wealth of information and science."
Mr Bainimarama also said the world to "must adjust course to avert catastrophe".
Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor didn't address the carryover credits explicitly in his own speech at the beginning of the high-level segment of the conference, but focused on technological innovation and talked up Australia's emissions reductions.
"On recently released forecasts we expect to beat our 2020 targets by 411 million tonnes, which is around 80 per cent of a full year of emissions," he said.
"We can only reduce emissions as fast as the deployment of commercially viable technologies allow," Mr Taylor said.
"This means we need to get the right technology to the marketplace when and where it is needed."
Australia has joined a coalition of countries and businesses called the Leadership Group for Industry Transition, Mr Taylor announced at the opening of the high level segment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Mr Taylor called for a "clear path" to help countries deliver their goals.
"We need to finalise arrangements for Paris Agreement carbon markets that give us confidence that traded carbon units represent genuine emissions reductions."
Like our Pacific neighbours, we recognise oceans are critical to health, wealth and survival. Australia is a world leader in ocean protection and sustainable use.Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor
Mr Taylor's speech included Australia's funding commitments to the Pacific.
"Like our Pacific neighbours, we recognise oceans are critical to health, wealth and survival. Australia is a world leader in ocean protection and sustainable use," he said.
Climate and Energy Director at the Australia Institute Richie Merzian is at the conference and said some other attendees at the conference were shocked Mr Taylor hadn't mentioned the unprecedented bushfires currently burning across three Australian states.
"They were really surprised [it wasn't mentioned] with the climate impacts ravaging the country, when it's a standard feature in the UN to relate on personal experience as a way of galvanising both empathy and ambition," Mr Merzian said.
The Prime Minister of Tonga Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa told the conference climate change was the single greatest regional threat to Pacific Island countries, detailing the record rates of coastal erosion, overflow and flash flooding in the tiny nation.
"These are further compounded by the rising in sea-level, three times higher, than the global average, and tropical cyclones that are increasing in intensity, and at a rate that undermines our capacity to respond to, and recover from," Mr Tu'i'onetoa said.
"Tropical Cyclone Gita which hit Tonga, in February 2018, is a strong testament to this increase."
It's not the first time the Fijian Prime Minister has spoken out against what he views as Australia's inaction on climate change. In a speech made in Canberra in September, Mr Bainimarama called for Australia to be "far more ambitious" on climate change and listen to the science.