Government aims low with 26 per cent emissions reduction commitment

The federal cabinet has reportedly agreed to reduce carbon emissions to between 26-28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030.

According to Fairfax media the target is one the Coalition thinks it can sell both domestically and internationally.

In comparison, the statutory Climate Change Authority had recommended between a 40-60 per cent cut based on 2000 levels in order to make an equitable international contribution that would limit global warming to no more than 2°C.

A 60 per cent cut on 2000 levels equates to around a 65 per cent cut on 2005 levels, so the government’s proposed maximum is less than half the suggested CCA maximum.

“Tony Abbott has defied calls for action on climate change by negotiating down Australia’s emissions reduction target in Cabinet,” Opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler said.

Mr Butler said the cuts were consistent with global warming of 3-4°C, despite the government having committed to limit global warming to no more than 2°C, along with other major economies.

“How is Mr Abbott’s target in line with his commitment to limit global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius?,” he said.

“If the government has modelling to demonstrate this, they should release it immediately.”

The Climate Institute yesterday released survey results that showed renewable energy and action on climate change were popular in the electorate.

“Despite a year which has seen renewable energy targets wound back, and attacks on wind power, support for both solar and wind in Australians’ preferred energy mix has grown,” Climate Institute chief executive John Connor said.

“Most (84 per cent, up two points) prefer solar amongst their top three energy sources, followed by wind (69 per cent, up five points).”

Regulating and limiting carbon pollution was supported by 67 per cent of those surveyed.

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