NSW raises climate targets, Federal Govt still missing in action

29.09.21 By

THE NSW GOVERNMENT’S move to ramp up its 2030 emissions reduction target to 50 per cent below 2005 levels builds on the history of climate leadership by states despite Federal inaction, says the Climate Council. 

NSW’s new target is an increase from its previous goal, which aimed to cut emissions 35 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. This follows the Victorian Government’s commitment earlier this year to reduce emissions by 45-50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“NSW’s new target is a commitment to climate action this decade that recognises the urgent need to cut climate pollution, whilst boosting the economy, unlocking clean jobs and protecting residents from worsening climate impacts,” said Climate Council Campaigns Director Alix Pearce.

“Regrettably, the leadership shown by state governments—including the NSW Liberal National Government—is not matched by the Federal Government, which stubbornly refuses to raise its insufficient 2030 target of 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels.

“The Federal Government stands increasingly isolated as it ignores calls from business leaders, farmers, local governments, our international allies and trading partners, and UN climate officials, for stronger action,” said Ms Pearce. 

The Climate Council says the science demands that Australia reduce its emissions by 75% (below 2005 levels) by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2035 to avoid locking in catastrophic climate impacts. As a first step, Australia must at least match the updated commitments from our key allies, and pledge before Glasgow to at least halve our emissions (below 2005 levels) by 2030.

“To do its part to help avoid catastrophic and irreversible climate change impacts, Australia and all state governments must immediately end the expansion of new coal and gas projects, and accelerate the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy,” said Ms Pearce. 

“Given the extraordinary economic opportunities for NSW from investing in clean technology and new industries, ratcheting up this target over time will be a pathway to more investment, cleaner and cheaper electricity and healthier communities in the state,” said Ms Pearce.

“As one of the sunniest and windiest countries on Earth, Australia has everything needed to prosper in a global net zero economy. Climate action shouldn’t be a partisan or political issue; it just makes economic sense,” said Ms Pearce.

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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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