Australia said Friday it is permanently cancelling 'dodgy' credits for historical greenhouse gas cuts, stopping any future government from using them as a loophole.
The country had amassed credits equal to more than a year's worth of global warming emissions, after exceeding what were widely seen as low-bar targets negotiated before the 2015 Paris agreement.
"Their permanent cancellation means no future government can use this loophole to meet their climate targets," the government said.
"Their use was rightly characterised at home and abroad as an accounting trick -- and an excuse not to have any climate or energy policy," it said in a statement.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's centre-left Labor government had already promised not to use the so-called Kyoto carryover credits to meet its emission-cutting targets.
"Without this strong action, more than 700 million credits - representing more than a year's worth of national emissions, could have been used in dodgy accounting in years to come," the statement said.
"Instead, the Albanese government is driving policies to deliver real, new emissions reduction to not just to meet climate targets but to prepare the Australian economy for a net zero global economy."
Albanese won power in May 2022 elections promising to end a decade of climate foot-dragging under the previous conservative coalition government.
One of the world's largest coal exporters, Australia has since committed to cutting carbon emissions by 43 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, on a path to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
Australia's climate change minister, Chris Bowen, said the conservative opposition parties could not decide whether they believed in climate change.
"So we're closing the loophole for dodgy accounting tricks they have tried to use in the past," Bowen said.
Australia's carbon dioxide emissions per person are among the highest in the world at 15.3 tonnes, surpassing US levels, World Bank figures show.
The country is the world's second-largest exporter of thermal coal, after Indonesia, and the largest exporter of metallurgical coal, which is used in steel making.