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Part C Australia’s emissions reduction goals

Strong global action to reduce emissions and keep global warming below 2 degrees is clearly in Australia’s national interest. Australia is highly exposed to climate change impacts, with significant risks to our people, environment and economy. Australia cannot solve this problem alone, but it is hard to argue for other countries to take the necessary action if Australia is not working to meet the global goal.

In Part C, the Authority recommends a set of emissions reduction goals to guide Australia’s transition to a low-emissions economy and contribute to global efforts to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees. Australia needs goals that provide short-, medium- and long-term milestones; linked by a credible pathway from each to the next. Adopting a 2013–2050 emissions budget is especially important in this regard—it reveals the trade-offs between Australia’s actions to 2020 and beyond. The Authority recommends:

  • A minimum target for 2020 of 15 per cent below 2000 levels, plus 4 percentage points from Australia’s carryover under the Kyoto Protocol, giving an effective target of 19 per cent. This target, combined with a national emissions budget of 4,193 Mt CO2-e for 2013–2020, provides a clear course for short-term action.
  • A trajectory range tracking to between 40 and 60 per cent below 2000 levels by 2030, and a national emissions budget for 2013–2050 of 10,100 Mt CO2-e. These goals provide guidance for longer term planning, and should be periodically reviewed in light of new information.

It is important that the post-2020 goals are reviewed periodically to ensure that they remain appropriate, taking account of developments in climate science, international action to address climate change and economic factors.

Part C examines:

  • the form and scope of Australia’s emissions reduction goals (Chapter 7)
  • Australia’s fair share of the global emissions budget (Chapter 8)
  • the recommendations for Australia’s emissions goals to 2020 and beyond (Chapter 9)
  • the costs of achieving Australia’s 2020 emissions reduction target (Chapter 10).