Climate Change

Australia sets new emissions target

Scientists say the target is too low for a developed country

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Wednesday 12 August 2015 | 05:59:46 AM
Australia's target has been criticised by environmentalists who say Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s assertion that a steeper target would hurt the economy is flawed
Credit: Adon Buckley
Australia's target has been criticised by environmentalists who say Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s assertion that a steeper target would hurt the economy is flawed
Credit: Adon Buckley Australia's target has been criticised by environmentalists who say Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s assertion that a steeper target would hurt the economy is flawed Credit: Adon Buckley

Australia plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The country’s previous target was to cut emissions by 5 per cent by 2020, based on 2000 emission levels.

 “It’s better than Japan. It’s almost the same as New Zealand. It’s a whisker below Canada. It’s a little below Europe. It’s about the same as the United States. It’s vastly better than Korea. Of course, it is unimaginably better than China,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said about the revised target on August 11.

The target, however, has been criticised by environmentalists who say Abbott’s assertion that a steeper target would hurt the economy is flawed. “The average of developed nation emission reductions, using the 2005 base year, is about 36 per cent by 2030,” says a news report published by The Guardian.

The US had promised cuts of around 41 per cent (based on 2005 levels) by 2030, the European Union by around 34 per cent, Canada of 30 per cent and Japan 25 per cent, says the report.

“Australia is still largely powered by carbon-polluting coal and is one of the world's biggest coal exporters,” says a BBC report published on August 11. The announcement comes ahead of the Paris meet scheduled for later this year where world leaders will decide on a new plan to check global warming. 

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