The Paris Agreement: Australia`s Target
The Paris Agreement on climate change was adopted by 195 countries in December 2015, with the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Australia, as a signatory to the agreement, has set a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below its 2005 levels by 2030. This target is called the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
The Australian government has outlined a range of policies and measures to achieve its NDC target. These include the Emissions Reduction Fund, which provides incentives for businesses and organizations to undertake activities that reduce their emissions; the Renewable Energy Target, which aims to increase the amount of renewable energy in the electricity sector; and the National Energy Productivity Plan, which seeks to improve energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy.
Despite these policies and measures, Australia`s progress towards meeting its NDC target has been slow. According to the latest projections from the Department of Environment and Energy, Australia is on track to reduce its emissions by only 5% below its 2005 levels by 2030. This is well below the target of 26-28%.
There are a number of reasons for this slow progress. One of the main reasons is Australia`s continued reliance on fossil fuels, particularly coal. Coal is the most emissions-intensive fossil fuel, and Australia is one of the world`s largest exporters of coal. The Australian government has been criticized for its lack of action on phasing out coal and transitioning to cleaner sources of energy.
Another reason for Australia`s slow progress is the lack of a comprehensive climate policy framework. The government`s policies and measures are disjointed and lack coherence, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities. There is also a lack of political will to tackle climate change, with some members of the government openly questioning the severity of the problem.
Despite these challenges, there are opportunities for Australia to ramp up its efforts to meet its NDC target. The country has abundant renewable energy resources, including solar, wind, and hydro. Investing in these resources could not only reduce emissions but also create jobs and stimulate economic growth. Australia could also implement policies to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles and improve energy efficiency in buildings and industry.
In conclusion, Australia`s target under the Paris Agreement is an important step towards addressing the urgent problem of climate change. However, the country`s slow progress towards meeting this target highlights the need for more ambitious and comprehensive policies and measures. With the right political will and investment, Australia could transition to a low-carbon economy and become a leader in the fight against climate change.