Setting Australia’s post-2020 target for greenhouse gas emissions

The recent announcement by the Australian Government of a 26-28 percent reduction on 2005 levels by 2030 is very disappointing and is dangerous in the extreme. Such a target is neither in the best interests of Australians nor represents our fair share. It is far below what is required to give us a chance  of keeping below a 2 degree rise.

Australia has an opportunity to set post-2020 targets for greenhouse gas emissions that provide an impetus for action and an improved chance of reducing the impacts of climate change through limiting temperature increase to agreed levels. Such targets have been proposed by the Climate Change Authority in the draft Special Review report (April 2015) for 2020 and 2035. Best Environments recommends the addition of reiterating the commitment to limit the increase in global temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius (a move to 1.5 degrees Celsius would be preferable) and a long term undertaking to reduce emissions to achieve emissions equity globally on a per capita basis.

Considering the risks of climate change to Australia and with the abundant resources within Australia (including renewable energy sources, technology innovation and implementation, energy distribution networks, skilled and educated populace, high GDP per person and relatively small debt), setting and meeting such targets are in the best interests of Australia.

Best Environments supports the fixed target setting recommended by the Climate Change Authority in the Special Review Draft Report of April 2015 of:

  • 2020 target of 19 per cent below 2000 levels;
  • 2025 target of 30 per cent below 2000 levels;
  • 2030 target of 40 to 60 per cent below 2000 levels;

with the following additions:

  • A reiteration of the target to limit the increase in global temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius (a move to 1.5 degrees Celsius would be preferable) should be included in the INDC; and
  • A long term undertaking to reduce emissions to achieve emissions equity globally on a per capita basis should also be submitted.

Note: The above includes extracts of Best Environments' submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Taskforce as a part of the public consultation in May 2015,