The Federal Government yesterday made public an initial allegiance to cut carbon emissions by 26%, and perhaps 28% based on the 2005 level by 2030. This is behind the reduction targets pledged by other developed countries like Canada and the United States.
Australia’s agenda for 2020 was to reduce carbon emissions by 5%, based on the 2000 level. The Climate Institute wishes the Government would reinforce its final target to suit the nation; a target that is technically strong and economically viable to protect the inevitable and prevent the uncontrollable.
Prime Ministers Tony Abbott indicated not only should Australia focus on reducing carbon emissions but also protect economic development.
“It is very much that everything we do has this in mind: how do we promote jobs and growth… and climate change policy is no different,” Prime Minister Abbott stated.
“We have to reduce our emissions… but in ways that are consistent with continued strong growth.”
The Opposition parties were in opposition to Tony Abbott’s policy, saying that “Australia will be put at the back of the pack” in terms of international action on global warming.
But Prime Minister Tony Abbott rubbished the idea from Labor and the Greens regarding the new post-2020 strategy to limit carbon emissions, stating it was “fairly in the middle of comparable economies”.
“We are not leading, but we are certainly not lagging,” Mr Abbott said. “It’s environmentally responsible because it’s more than comparable with what other countries are doing”
It is economically responsible because it doesn’t depend upon a great big new tax on everything, or a massive overbuild of renewable capacity in the next few years.”
Prof. Tim Flannery, a Scientist stated that the target is absolutely inadequate. “These targets are vastly inadequate to protect Australians from the impacts of climate change and do not represent a fair contribution to the world effort to bring climate change under control,” stated Prof Flannery.
The Climate Council indicated that in order for Australia to stay below a 2-degree Celsius rise temperature, the would have to reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent based on 2000 levels, and went on to say that Australia is the 13th nation with the largest carbon polluter in the world.
“The Government’s target of 26% will fail to limit global warming to 2°C and will keep Australia on track towards remaining the biggest polluter per capita in 2030.” Climate Council said.
Australia is among the world’s largest coal exporters. I think this idea is rather to protect the coal industry and not for cutting pollution.
Australia would be on top of all countries in terms of clean energy, if the Government is able to refine our climate policies.
J. Sturmer andA. Henderson, August 11, 2015. Carbon emissions: Tony Abbott defends climate targets which critics say don’t go far enough: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-11/tony-abbott-brushes-off-criticism-of-climate-targets/6688214. [Accessed on August12, 2015]
AUTHOR: DOUGLAS YEBOAH