Coalition climate policy falls short on ambition, risks international credibility
The RepuTex analysis found that, under the Coalition’s current plan, Australia’s emissions will continue to rise sharply, putting the minimum 5% emissions target in danger and making stronger targets untenable.
“Australia must do its fair share of the global effort required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. That means cutting emissions by at least 25% below 2000 levels by 2020,” WWF’s National Climate Change Manager, Kellie Caught said.
“Australia has committed internationally to strengthening its 2020 emissions target from the current 5% to up to 25% if other nations take similar action. This commitment has bipartisan support.
“Professor Ross Garnaut recently stated he believed international action warranted Australia being willing to at the very least match the US target of a 17% cut off 2005 levels (equivalent to 21% off 2000 levels).”
“It is not enough for our political leaders to pay lip-service to stronger targets. Our international credibility depends on being able to deliver on these targets. That means having viable policies in place that can be scaled up,” Ms Caught said.
The RepuTex modelling found that an extra $35 billion in funding (out to 2020) would be required for the Coalition’s current policy to achieve Australia’s minimum target of a 5% cut in carbon pollution.
“Achieving the 25% target under Direct Action would see the government paying more than $100 per tonne of carbon saved, meaning that tens of billions of dollars more funding would be needed in the budget, above and beyond what is required under the 5% target,” Ms Caught said. “This is more than ten times higher than indicated in the Coalition’s current plan, suggesting the 25% target simply could not be met”.
The RepuTex modelling found that the current emissions trading scheme can be scaled up to achieve the 25% target at minimal extra cost to the Australian economy.
The RepuTex modelling also found that Direct Action is not an economically efficient way to cut emissions. Under emissions trading it is expected that companies will face a carbon price of about $38 per tonne by 2020. However, under Direct Action the Government would need to spend approximately $58 per tonne by 2020 to ensure the minimum 5 % target is met.
“Putting aside the question of economic efficiency, ultimately what matters most to the environment is that Australia has a scheme in place that can realistically deliver deep cuts in carbon pollution this decade and beyond,” Ms Caught said.
Mark Symons, Communications Co-ordinator
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