Let’s get something straight – Australia is not on track to meet its Paris climate target

21.12.18 By

Australia’s current 2030 greenhouse gas pollution target is weak, and we are not on track to meet it.

The Federal Government has released updated Emissions Projections confirming Australia is not on track to meet its woefully inadequate 2030 emissions reduction target.

The Federal Government’s own published data shows Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution levels are expected to continue to go up over the next decade. Australia’s emissions in 2030 are expected to be higher than today.

The Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor is misleading the public by claiming Australia will meet its target ahead of schedule. The Prime Minister Scott Morrison is misleading the public by claiming  Australia will meet the Paris target “in a canter”. Both claims are incorrect.

The Federal Government’s own Emissions Projections clearly show Australia is not on track to meet its Paris commitments. The Federal Government has no credible climate policy in place to tackle our rising greenhouse gas pollution.

The Climate Council is calling on the Federal Government to stop making misleading comments about Australia meeting its Paris climate target and get serious about effective climate action.

HOW DO WE KNOW AUSTRALIA ISN’T ON TRACK TO MEET OUR CLIMATE COMMITMENTS?

The Australian Government’s own projections show that Australia is not on track to reach our national emissions reduction target of 26-28% by 2030 (below 2005 levels). According to the government’s projections, in order to meet our current emissions target, Australia will need policies to reduce emissions by an extra 695 –  762 million tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution between 2021-2030.

Figure – Australia’s emissions trends, 1990 to 2030

Source: Page 12 Australia’s emissions projections 2018

Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution levels have been going up for four consecutive years now, and our pollution levels – excluding unreliable land use emissions  – are now at record highs (Department of the Environment and Energy 2018).

WHY AREN’T WE ON TRACK?

Australia lacks credible national climate policy to drive down greenhouse gas pollution. This is why we are not on track to meet even our woefully inadequate 26-28% emissions reduction target for 2030.

In fact, the latest Emissions Projections show that Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution will be 41 million tonnes higher in 2030 than in 2005 (excluding unreliable land use emissions).

AUSTRALIA’S EMISSIONS REDUCTION TARGET IS WOEFULLY INADEQUATE.

Australia’s current 2030 emissions reduction target of 26-28% (below 2005 levels) falls significantly short of what is required to effectively tackle climate change.

The Climate Change Authority (2015) recommended a 45-65% emissions reduction target for 2030 (below 2005 levels), based on scientific evidence, what comparable countries are doing and what is in the best interests of Australia.

AUSTRALIA’S EMISSIONS ARE SIGNIFICANT AND RISING

Australia is the 16th largest emitter of carbon dioxide worldwide, and the 10th highest on a per person basis (Global Carbon Atlas 2018).

WHY WE NEED TO REDUCE OUR GREENHOUSE GAS POLLUTION LEVELS

Climate change, worsened by the burning of coal, oil and gas, is already intensifying extreme weather events in Australia and around the world.

Australia is in the firing line of climate change and 2018 has been yet another year of extreme weather events. Australians are facing increasingly frequent and severe extreme weather, including droughts, bushfires, heatwaves and supercharged storms, testing the limits of our coping capacity.

2018 has been yet another year of abject Federal Government climate policy failure. Going into 2019, Australians need strong national climate policy, and to work collectively with the international community under the Paris Climate Agreement, in order limit the impacts of extreme weather on our livelihoods, safety and health.