Doing our bit to avoid dangerous climate change – Australia’s fair share
Did you know Australia has yet to lock in a carbon pollution reduction target for 2020?
In the past couple of years, we’ve seen great progress on the policy front, with an emissions trading scheme introduced (that puts a price and limit on pollution) and increased support for renewable energy.
But we still don’t know exactly how much pollution needs to be saved, because the target has yet to be set.
In this election we are calling on all parties to commit to reducing Australia’s carbon pollution levels to at least 25 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.
The major parties are currently committed to a minimum target of 5% by 2020. Their policy states that they would consider an increase to 25%, but only if other countries act. That’s not good enough for our planet.
Here’s why we believe a target of at least 25 per cent is in Australia’s national interest.
- It’s science-based:
Australia supports the international community’s goal of limiting global warming to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. However according to World Bank and others, the planet is on track for a 4°C temperature rise. Australia and other countries must do more. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to keep this goal in reach, developed countries (like Australia) will need to reduce their emissions by 25 – 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.
- We can do our fair share:
Australia is the world’s 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. On a per person basis our emissions are the highest amongst developed countries. Independent modelling by one of Australia’s most respected economists, Professor Ross Garnaut, found that 25 per cent cut in carbon pollution would represent Australia’s fair share of the global effort to stay below 2°C. Recent analysis prepared for WWF shows that anything less than 25 per cent would mean Australia is shifting the burden to other countries. That’s hardly fair and certainly not the Australian way.
- It’s affordable:
Recent economic modelling by Vivid Economics and Monash University has found that moving from a 5 per cent target to a 25 per cent target would have only a negligible impact on Australia’s economy, shaving just 0.01 per cent off economic growth in 2020. Such a small impact would be made up in less than two months!5