Australia under pressure to increase post-2020 climate ambition -paper

Published 02:16 on June 22, 2015  /  Last updated at 02:16 on June 22, 2015  /  Asia Pacific, Australia, Climate Talks, International  /  No Comments

Australia is considering setting a 2030 GHG target of 26-30% below 2005 levels, the West Australian newspaper reported Monday after initial preferences to set the bar lower were put to shame by Canada’s and Japan’s targets.

Australia is considering setting a 2030 GHG target of 26-30% below 2005 levels, the West Australian newspaper reported Monday after initial preferences to set the bar lower were put to shame by Canada’s and Japan’s targets.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott had wanted to aim for 13-18% cut on 2005 levels by 2030, but Canada and Japan announcing higher-than-expected targets might force Australia to raise its ambition levels, the paper wrote, quoting unnamed senior government officials.

A number of nations have already questioned the level of ambition in Australia’s climate policy, and a post-2020 target notably softer than those of Canada and Japan could prove embarrassing for Canberra, officials say.

The lower end of Abbott’s reported preference for 2030, 13% below 2005, in fact equals Australia’s 2020 target, and a 2030 target at the same level would be seriously out of step with other nations, who plan to increase their emission reduction efforts in the next decade.

But even raising the target to 26-30% below 2005 levels by 2030 might bring some questions, as both Canada’s and Japan’s plans have been rated “inadequate” by analysts Climate Action Tracker.

“If they set a target like Canada (30%), they are telling other countries ‘you need to do more because we are doing less’ to meet the 2C target,” Erwin Jackson with Melbourne-based think-tank The Climate Institute told Carbon Pulse.

He said Australia might choose to set a target for 2025 along the lines of the US pledge.

Australia is expected to announce its post-2020 target next month.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com

Comment