© WWF / Nina Munn

© WWF / Nina Munn

The Paris agreement is in crisis - act now

With President Trump  announcing his intent to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement, WWF-Australia is calling on the Australian Government to step up our efforts to fight global warming.



Save the Paris Agreement. Save our planet's future.

Now, more than ever before, we need to do more. Global warming will continue to devastate our ecosystems and iconic species, including our Great Barrier Reef, and our beloved koalas.

The global transition is already happening, and Australia can’t be left behind. There is such potential to tap into the great innovations and many job opportunities as we transition to a low-carbon economy. Australia can and must do more to reduce carbon pollution. 

We need your help.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has indicated Australia will stay committed to the Paris Agreement but business as usual is not good enough. Send a message to the PM to urge for stronger action to limit carbon pollution. He has a duty of care to all the people and living ecosystems on our planet to keep them safe.

In 2015, tens of thousands of Australians came together for the People’s Climate March to tell the world that we want strong action on climate change. Together, we’ve made change happen before, and in these uncertain times, we must unite and do it again. For the sake of future generations.

What is the Paris Agreement?

In December 2015, a historic agreement was reached by the international community at the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Agreement outlined some ambitious and long-term strategies to reduce the impacts of global warming by:


  • Limiting average global temperature rise to well below 2°C and preferably to 1.5°C;
  • Encouraging countries to rapidly transition to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar;
  • Establishing a $100 billion fund to assist climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries; and
  • Submitting higher, more ambitious national emissions reduction targets every five years. The first review will take place in 2023.


Current status of the Paris Agreement

  • Signed by 195 countries (out of 197 parties)
  • Ratified, or made into law, by 147 countries (out of 195 signatories)
  • Australia ratified the Paris Agreement on 9 November 2016


Australia’s commitment under the Paris Agreement

  • To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 - 28% below 2005 levels by 2030


How does Australia’s target compare?

The Table below shows that Australia is a middle-player when it comes to emissions reduction targets compared to other countries. These targets have been submitted as part of the Paris Agreement’s ‘nationally determined commitments’ (NDCs). The full range of NDCs currently submitted to the UNFCCC can be found here.

Country Stated target Change from 2005 in 2030
UK 50% below 1990 levels by 2023 - 2027 -61%
Switzerland 50% below 1990 levels by 2030 -51%
Germany 55% below 1990 levels by 2030 -45%
Norway At least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 -44.50%
US 26 - 28% below 2005 levels by 2030 -35% to -39%
EU At least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 -34%
Canada 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 -30%
New Zealand 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 -30%
Australia 26 - 28% below 2005 levels by 2030 -26% to -28%
Japan 26% below 2013 levels by 2030 -25%
China 60 - 65% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 on 2005 levels Increase of between 72% to 96%
Republic of Korea 37% below BAU by 2030 1% to -5%

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To the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

As a global citizen concerned by recent events, I am writing to urge you to take stronger action to limit carbon pollution.

The decision by President Trump to pull the USA out of the Paris Agreement is a grave mistake. The devastating impact of climate change is already apparent on our Great Barrier Reef and iconic species such as koalas. Now more than ever, we need to ratchet up Australia’s efforts to limit the dangerous impact of climate change and transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

Business as usual is not good enough.

You say you have a strong innovation agenda for Australia. It’s time to prove it. The global transition to a low-carbon future is already happening and those left behind will lose international credibility and competitiveness in future markets.

We now have an opportunity for Australia to demonstrate leadership to the world. Mr Turnbull, I am calling on you, as the head of our elected Government, to take action on three things:

  • Publicly declare Australia’s continued commitment to the Paris Agreement through stronger emissions reduction targets by 2020;

  • Expand the Renewable Energy Target so Australia is on track to reach 100% renewable energy by 2035; and

  • Lead the world and set an ambitious long-term target for Australia to be carbon neutral by 2050.

I urge you and your party to look past short-term political gains and consider our nation’s sustainable development - for our future, and the future of our children.

It is in Australia’s national interest to do so, and we have a duty of care to all the people and living ecosystems on our planet.

The future of my family and community is in your hands. Don't let me down.

Yours sincerely,

[ Your name and personal message will appear here. ]

© Sian Breen / WWF-Aus

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