Short-term CO2 growth means Australia must double efforts next decade to meet target -report

Published 02:37 on November 23, 2015  /  Last updated at 21:14 on November 23, 2015  /  Asia Pacific, Australia  /  No Comments

Australia’s GHG emissions are set to grow 6% between now and 2020, meaning it must double its efforts next decade to meet the 2030 target, analysts Reputex said Monday.

Australia’s GHG emissions are set to grow 6% between now and 2020, meaning it must double its efforts next decade to meet the 2030 target, analysts Reputex said Monday.

Rising emissions in the electricity sector and a host of new LNG and coal mines coming online over the next few years will put Australia’s GHG emissions in 2020 at 4% above 2020 levels, it said in a new report.

As forecast by the government, the country will still meet its international obligations of keeping 2020 emissions 5% below 2000 levels due to some 130 million tonnes of CO2e that it can carry over from the first Kyoto Protocol commitment period, according to Reputex.

But near-term real emissions growth leaves Australia with less time to cut more emissions in order to meet its pledge of cutting GHGs 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030.

“From today, Australia requires nearly 6 million tonnes (Mt) of abatement to be derived from ‘new’ (not pre-existing) projects each year to meet its 2030 target,” it said.

“Should emissions grow over the next five years, Australia would instead require 13 Mt of new abatement projects to commence each year over 2020-2030, more than double the current rate.”

The forecast included contracted emission cuts via the Emissions Reduction Fund, and concluded that even though the government plans a climate policy review in 2017, new policies would be unlikely to enter into force until 2018-2019.

“That may place pressure on the government to explore an interim policy prior to the 2016 federal election, such as more ERF funding, or the scale up of voluntary ‘early market’ rules, to incentivise new projects, particularly from high emitting companies,” said Hugh Grossman, Reputex executive director.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com

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