WHILE STATES are driving increased uptake of renewable energy and COVID-19 travel restrictions have lowered Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions for 2020, the Federal Government’s efforts remain woefully inadequate, says the Climate Council.
“Every quarter, the Federal Government tries to take credit for emissions reductions it has made zero contribution to. Instead, it is holding back progress on the scale and pace of emissions reductions we need,” said Tim Baxter, senior researcher, Climate Council.
“Electricity emissions declined due to state efforts to scale up renewable energy, while transport emissions decreased largely due to COVID restrictions. The Federal Government played no role in this,” said Mr Baxter.
“Meanwhile, the Federal Government has not introduced a single climate policy that has demonstrably reduced emissions: be it developing renewable energy technology to support a transition away from fossil fuels; or incentivising electric vehicle purchases,” said Mr Baxter.
The Climate Council recommends a science-based target for Australia of reducing emissions 75% below 2005 levels by 2030, and reaching net zero by 2035.
Australia’s progress is nowhere near what’s needed. Recent analysis shows that excluding land use change emissions (which the Federal government has virtually no control over), our emissions are 7% higher than 2005 levels.
“To avoid catastrophic consequences of climate change, the world and Australia need to dramatically reduce emissions by the end of this decade. Other countries are stepping up, but we are nowhere to be seen. Australia is like a toddler on a tricycle trying to compete in the Tour de France and demanding to wear the yellow jersey,” said Mr Baxter.
“As one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world, Australia should be doing so much more to tackle climate change, create thousands of secure new jobs in clean industries and strengthen our economy,” he said.
“Instead of delivering the strong, bold climate action we need, Australia continues to waste taxpayer money on new fossil fuel projects and drag our feet on setting a net zero target, while the rest of the world is racing ahead,” said Mr Baxter.
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The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.
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