Effort matters: Climate report card shows Aussies benefit from Govt action

30.11.23 By

Today’s climate report card shows that Australia’s emissions have fallen in sectors like electricity where the government has put in a concerted effort. However, pollution is rising in transport and from fossil fuels, where policy is languishing. 

Today’s Annual Climate Change Statement reveals the government is making solid progress in the electricity sector due to smart policy and investment. Electricity sector emissions are projected to decline 60% between 2023-2030 as clean, cheap wind and solar increasingly meet our energy needs. Last week’s expansion of the Capacity Investment Scheme will help bring more projects online. 

But transport emissions are still rising, projected to increase by 4% to 2030. Pollution from burning coal, oil or gas in industry is not declining fast enough. Australia could make solid gains by fast-tracking two major initiatives on clean transport and Australia’s environment law.

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said: “We can’t settle for a slow jog when the climate crisis calls for a sprint. Great progress has been made in reducing harmful pollution from our electricity sector. This reflects the government’s concerted efforts to build out solar and wind in our electricity grid.”

“But progress is painfully slow on driving down emissions in other sectors, particularly transport. The government can move into gear by implementing fuel efficiency standards to clean up our car fleet and save Aussie’s money at the petrol pump. Australians want this because it’ll provide more choice in cleaner, cheaper cars and help us turn around Australia’s fastest growing source of emissions: transport.

“The government also has a huge opportunity to stop fossil fuel expansion in its tracks by fixing our national environment law to put climate at its heart. Both of these essential reforms would go a long way to helping the Albanese Government get on track to achieving its own emissions reduction targets and more. Let’s get on with it.”

Climate Council Head of Advocacy Dr Jennifer Rayner said: “The Government’s to-do list for 2024 is clear. We need to see fuel efficiency standards put to the Parliament and rolled out by mid-year to stop Australians paying too much for polluting fuel and ease the cost of living squeeze. 

“We need a new approach to our national environment law so it can protect us and the natural places and unique animal and plant life that we hold dear. The first draft of the government’s law reform is disappointing as it doesn’t include climate change, despite the loud and growing calls from communities and experts around the country to deal with this major environmental threat.     

“As it stands, 740 fossil fuel projects have been approved under our environment law. The laws are broken and the government must fix them.

“When the Albanese Government commits time, effort and investment, we see the positive results. Transport and fossil fuels must be the focus now to get these sectors on the right track too, alongside our electricity system.”  

For interviews please contact Zerene Catacutan on 0438 972 260 or zerene.catacutan@climatecouncil.org.au.

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. It was founded through community donations in 2013, immediately after the then-Abbott Government dismantled the Climate Commission. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community. For further information, go to: climatecouncil.org.au Or follow us on social media: facebook.com/climatecouncil and twitter.com/climatecouncil