​Smoke and mirrors won’t cover up vastly inadequate targets

10.08.15 By

EMISSIONS reduction targets announced today by the Australian Government are out of step with the science and the rest of the world, the Climate Council said today.

The Australian Government is today set to announce it will cut emissions by 26% on 2005 levels by 2030, far below the 40-60% target on 2000 levels recommended by the Climate Change Authority.

“These targets are vastly inadequate to protect Australians from the impacts of climate change and do not represent a fair contribution to the world effort to bring climate change under control,” Professor Tim Flannery said.

“The international community would certainly be very disappointed if we present these targets in Paris.

“Over the next few days, there will be a lot of spin to try and confuse Australians into thinking that we are doing more than we actually are.

“But no amount of smoke and mirrors will cover up the fact that an emissions reduction target of 40% on 2000 levels by 2030 is the bare minimum and this target is far below that.”

Australia is a crucial global climate change player as the largest consumer of coal per capita and the 13th largest emitter in the world, Professor Will Steffen said.

“Australia is one of the most pollution intensive economies in the world. If we reduce our emissions by 26% by 2030, we’ll still emit more per person than the USA and significantly more than the UK.

“Australia has already attracted significant criticism from our trading partners including China and the US over concerns we’re free-riding on the backs of other countries’ efforts to tackle climate change. With these targets, we’re a leaner, not a lifter.”

Tackling climate change is firmly in Australia’s national interest, Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said.

“Tackling climate change is about protecting the Great Barrier Reef, protecting Australians against worsening heatwaves and bushfire conditions and protecting our coastal communities from sea level rise,” she said.

“And we know that tackling climate change not only creates jobs and investment through renewable energy, it’s also what Australians want. 69% of Australians think the government should take climate change more seriously.

“These targets fall short of the science, they fall short of global action and they fall short of what’s necessary to protect Australians from the impacts of climate change. By every measure, they fail to make the grade.”

The Climate Council is an independent, crowd-funded organisation providing quality information to climate change to the Australian public.

For media enquiries, please contact Head of Communications Jessica Craven on 0400 424 559.