24 April 2013 — The Climate Change Authority’s paper, laying out initial thoughts on Australian emission targets and carbon budgets, is an important opportunity to focus on emissions limits and not just emissions pricing, The Climate Institute chief executive officer Erwin Jackson says.
The paper is the first step towards a draft report in October this year.
“Australia’s fair contribution to avoiding dangerous climate change requires strong 2020 emissions reductions but also even deeper cuts towards 2050,” Mr Jackson said.
“Reducing emissions does not stop in 2020 and a crucial test of any political party’s policy is whether it can achieve up to a 25 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020 and a 60 per cent reduction by 2030.”
Australia’s carbon laws and international negotiations are based on avoiding more than 2°C global warming above pre-industrial levels. To have a good chance at this, no more than 1500 billion tonnes of carbon pollution can be released to 2050.
The Climate Institute’s and others’ analysis suggests that by 2030 Australia will have to reduce emissions by around 60 per cent on 2000 levels.
Mr Jackson said one concern with the paper was that “it perhaps over emphasises the 80 per cent target by 2050”.
“A better focus would be on meeting our national interests and international commitments to avoid more than 2°C of global warming.”