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Part B Australia’s policies and progress to date

Part B charts Australia’s domestic policies to reduce its emissions and assesses progress Australia has made in reducing its emissions between 1990 and 2012.

Australian governments—Commonwealth, state and local—have implemented a suite of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the past two decades and there has been considerable change in this suite over time. As in many other countries, Australia’s policy suite includes market-based mechanisms, such as the carbon pricing mechanism; regulatory measures, such as minimum energy performance standards; and informational tools, such as energy rating labels.

Australia has made progress towards decarbonising its economy. Australia’s emissions were broadly the same in 2012 as in 1990, despite a doubling in the size of the economy. This means that the emissions intensity of the economy has halved over that period. Policy has played an important role, particularly in the land and electricity sectors. Broader economic forces also account for some of the reduction in emissions intensity.

Further efforts are necessary to achieve absolute reductions in Australia’s emissions to 2020 and in subsequent decades.

Chapter 5 describes the major policies Australia has used to reduce its emissions.

Chapter 6 describes the trends in Australia’s emissions since 1990, at the national and sectoral levels, and the drivers that underpin these trends, including the role of policy.