Federal Labor’s commitment to cut Australia’s net climate pollution to zero by mid-century and to consult towards a 45 per cent cut from 2005 levels by 2030 is welcome and builds momentum for stronger action at the UN negotiations in Paris.
“If this was our national target it would bring Australia back in line with leading countries and put us in a much better position to do our fair share in the global effort to tackle climate change,” said Australian Conservation Foundation CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.
“Labor’s suggested 2030 target falls short of what’s required to keep global warming below the international 2°C goal and must be strengthened if we are to avoid the worst impacts of global warming, which include even worse bushfire seasons than now.
“The goal of eliminating pollution by 2050 is important, realistic and achievable – until now we’ve simply lacked the political will to take it on.
“Both 2030 and 2050 are a long way off, so Labor’s commitment to set a 2025 target will be important to get pollution reduction on the right track.
“The Government’s target to cut emissions by 26–28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 leaves us trailing behind similar countries and would cement Australia as the developed world’s highest per capita polluter.
“If all nations set similar goals to Australia’s current target, the world would be heading towards a dangerous 3 to 4 degrees of warming.
“Just this week the World Meteorological Organisation said 2011–15 was the warmest five-year period on record and 2015 will almost certainly be the hottest of the lot.
“Governments around the world are coming up with ambitious plans to boost renewable energy and unshackle their economies from pollution; Labor’s target would ensure Australia is not left behind with an outdated energy sector and rust bucket economy.
“We call on the Government to strengthen its inadequate pollution reduction targets.”
Kelly O’Shanassy will be at the People’s Climate March in Melbourne today and in Paris for the next fortnight for the UN climate conference