Australia’s emission reduction targets are woefully inadequate, according to Climate Action Tracker, which found Australia to have one of the weakest climate targets in the world.
On August 11th, Australia submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the Paris Climate Agreement of greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2030 of 26-28% from 2005 levels. However, Climate Action Tracker have determined that this target is “inadequate,” and falls in the bottom half of the range of industrialized nations.
“Australia stands out as having the most work to do of any industrialised country to achieve its already inadequate climate target,” said Niklas Höhne, of NewClimate Institute.
Specifically, Climate Action Tracker determined that Australia’s target is in the range of around 5% below to 5% above 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions — which, in comparison, is well below the significantly higher reductions on 1990 levels other industrialized nations have put forth.
The “inadequate” rating indicates that Australia’s commitment is not in line with most interpretations of a “fair” approach to reach a 2°C pathway: if most other countries followed the Australian approach, global warming would exceed 3–4°C.
Furthermore, Australia’s policies bear no resemblance to its publicly announced targets — with Climate Action Tracker determining that if Australia’s policies remain in place as they are now, Australia’s emissions will actually rise more than 27% above 2005 levels, or 61% above 1990 levels by 2030, rather than decrease the aforementioned 26-28%.
“Currently implemented policy measures do not put Australia anywhere close to a track that would decrease emissions to meets its 2030 target INDC 2030 target, which in itself is entirely inconsistent with holding warming below 2°C,” said Bill Hare of Climate Analytics.
“It is clear that Australia’s currently planned policies are inconsistent with its 2030 target, Australia needs to implement substantially more policies to meet that target.” added Kornelis Blok of Ecofys.
As a result of all this, the current cumulative abatement gap between 2013 and 2030 is equivalent to approximately three years of Australia’s national emissions, or 141 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent.
“We have undertaken a forensic analysis of Australia’s climate target, and, contrary to government assertions, the abatement task has increased considerably over the years, reflecting the negative consequences of the Australian government’s repeal and amendments of key climate policies,” added Bill Hare.
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