Australia should face the facts, not fudge, on our climate challenge Media Release

Apr 23, 2016 - 11:20am

The Climate Institute said the government was failing to face up to the facts of Australia’s climate challenge and should put policy substance over political spin.

“The Climate Institute welcomes today’s government’s signing of the Paris agreement, and its intention to ratify this year,” said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute. “It is good that Australia joined over 160 countries in signing the Paris climate agreement and committed to ratify it this year to help bring it into force far quicker than first estimated.”

“Beyond the signing, the Australian government has put on another Jekyll and Hyde performance on climate change overnight.”

“Australia sought to mask the fact of Australia’s rising energy emissions with more spin not policy substance.”

“The government celebrated new 2020 ‘lower’ projections for annual emissions of 577 million tonnes but its own report from last month had current annual emissions at 550 million tonnes. Our emissions are on the up, while the Paris Agreement means they have to fall to net zero before 2050.”

“What’s more our emissions trends are out of step with other countries, last year our energy emissions rose while those in China and the US fell.”

“Other countries are seeing through Australia’s spin. In a diplomatic ‘snub’ the High Ambition Coalition which Australia sought to join in Paris, didn’t invite Australia to their meeting in New York."

“It is understandable that countries committed to effective global action on climate change would raise questions about Australia’s participation in the High Ambition Coalition. You can’t be in a high ambition coalition of countries if you have low ambition climate change action.”

“Australia has chosen to aim for the low end of its 2020 emissions target range of 5-25 percent, has a 2030 target consistent with 3-4 degrees C warming – not the 1.5-2 degrees Paris objectives, and has a domestic policy framework that is increasing emissions from coal-burning power plants.”

“Australia has to increase its action to meet the objectives of the Paris agreement. Australia urgently needs a plan to build an economy that is shifting towards net zero emissions. That plan needs to replace coal burning power stations with clean energy over the next 20 years as well as maximise opportunities in the growing global clean energy economy.”

On Thursday, The Climate Institute released is latest global update on the actions countries are taking to implement the Paris Agreement. It also recently released a report into electricity sector reforms

For more information
Brinsley Marlay ● Media Manager ● 0422 140 555

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