Since coming to power in 2013 the Coalition Government has consistently underperformed on climate change and emissions reduction. Nowhere is that more obvious than in our continued failures to engage in genuine action to meet our obligations under the Paris Agreement.
The most recent announcement from Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, that Australia will not be increasing our emissions reduction targets as agreed under the Paris Agreement, and that we will continue to aim for a 26-28% reduction on 2005 levels represents a stunning failure in leadership, and will have repercussions for Australians at home – as we battle the effects of climate change; and abroad due to our abrogated leadership role.
Each year that we fail to act to reduce our emissions, increases the severity of future action needed and increases the impact of climate change on us today – the bushfires, floods, droughts, and heat waves that are being super-charged by global warming.
The Climate Change Authority in 2014 recommended a range of 47-65% below 2005 emissions levels by 2030. Climate Action Tracker now puts that figure at 66% if we can enact some ambitious policy change in the near term. For the government to sit on a target of 26-28% – at the time, one of the lowest put forward by an OECD country – is negligent at best.
Action on Climate Change can be used to stimulate our economy; create new jobs; reduce pollution; improve health and wellbeing; spark new export opportunities; and help secure the future of our country. This continued inaction must end.