The Australian Government has officially ratified the Paris climate agreement formalising Australia's commitment to the global deal, alongside the 100+ countries that have already ratified.
It's certainly been a long time coming... but is still a welcome sign of progress! Particularly as the world comes to terms with the shock election of Donald Trump, a known climate denier, to the US Presidency.
The ratification also comes just before Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg head to Marrakech, Morocco, where a global climate conference is currently underway.
The Prime Minister and two ministers released a joint statement this afternoon:
"The Australian Government today reaffirmed Australia’s strong commitment to effective global action on climate change... Ratification of the Agreement confirms Australia’s ambitious and responsible target to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030."
It's great to see Australia finally ratify the agreement, but here's a quick fact-check on that statement:
Australia’s 2030 emission reduction target of 26-28% on 2005 levels is hardly "ambitious" – it's actually inadequate to limit global warming to 1.5-2°C (the target agreed to in Paris). In fact, if the rest of the world adopted a level of ambition equivalent to Australia's climate targets and policies – we'd be on track for warming of 3-4°C or more by the end of the century. Yikes.
On top of that, Australia’s capacity to even meet its 2030 target is questionable, given it relies on a number of measures yet to be implemented.
So... now that we've taken the baby step of ratifying the climate agreement that we'd already signed up to – we'd love to see the national policy to match it!
Image credit: 9 News