The Australian Conservation Foundation has congratulated the federal government for announcing that Australia has ratified the Paris Climate Agreement.
“With another record breaking year of heat and official data showing the world’s average temperature has already warmed by more than 1°C, global action is more important than ever,” said ACF campaigner Suzanne Harter.
In December 2015, Australia was one of 195 nations to adopt the universal, legally binding agreement to limit global warming to 1.5–2°C, achieve net zero emissions of greenhouse gases and increase resilience to the emerging impacts of climate change.
Ratification means formally joining the Agreement, which entered into force on 4 November, and being bound by its terms.
“It’s a testament to the global commitment to the Paris Agreement that many countries were quick to ratify,” Ms Harter said.
“More than 100 countries, responsible for around 70 per cent of the world’s climate pollution, have already ratified.
“Australian needs to now take stock of the commitment it has made and ensure it has the policies to fulfil it.
“Australia’s current pollution reduction target of 26–28 per cent pollution reduction on 2005 levels by 2030 is inadequate when compared with other similar economies and when considered against the goal of keeping global warming to 1.5–2°C.
“If other countries followed Australia it would result in disastrous warming of 3-4°C above preindustrial levels.
“Achieving the goals of the Agreement will require countries like Australia to reduce their climate pollution to net zero before 2050.
“This will need a strong national plan to replace coal burning power plants with clean energy and ensure a just transition for affected workers and communities.”