It is widely anticipated the Federal Government will soon announce an increase in projected emissions cuts by 2030 under a business-as-usual scenario.
A new Climate Analytics report, commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation, can reveal virtually none of the gains are a result of the Federal Government’s own policy.
The anticipated emissions reductions are largely due to climate action implemented by state governments and a shift in international markets by countries adhering to the Paris Agreement.
Considering those two factors, this analysis shows that emissions are due to be reduced by 30–38% by 2030, exceeding the Federal Government’s current 2030 Paris target, but not due to its own climate action.
“The Federal Government cannot claim credit. It comes down to state level actions, such as driving more renewables and electric vehicle sales, as well as projected declines in Australia’s market for LNG and coal because our major trading partners are implementing their Paris commitments,” said report author Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics.
“On the other side of the equation we show that it would be easy for Australia to more than halve emissions by 2030 simply by accelerating renewable energy, providing greater national incentives for electric vehicles and reducing land clearance rates, yet the Federal Government’s present encouragement of new fossil fuel projects – like coal mines and massive gas developments – would make this impossible,” he said.
This report provides three clear scenarios that show the Federal Government can easily raise the ambition of its 2030 target to reach 50–60% below 2005 levels.
“The cost of too little action this decade far outweighs the cost of transitioning to a low pollution economy,” said ACF Climate Change and Clean Energy Campaigner Suzanne Harter.
“We need a national plan to slash climate pollution by 2030, with strong targets that – at the very minimum – match those of the USA, the UK and other trading partners such as the European Union and Japan.
“Practical solutions are ready now to fast track emissions cuts and they will create jobs and prosperity.
“We have abundant clean energy, tools and talent, but we cannot delay any longer.
“Australia needs a Federal Government that leads the way,” Ms Harter said.
Header pic by Bette Devine