Environment Minister Greg Hunt has today used an address at the National Press Club to suggest Australia will meet its carbon pollution targets for 2020. This offers Australia the chance to strengthen its target rather than rest on its laurels.
But WWF-Australia has expressed concerns about recent spikes in landclearing, especially in Queensland, which could undo the pollution reduction purchases made by the Government under its Emission Reduction Fund auctions.
“If the figures are correct, Australia should set stronger targets rather than rest on its laurels. Australia is capable of achieving much more when it comes to reducing carbon pollution,” said Kellie Caught, WWF National Manager, Climate Change.
“Australia has the chance to pick up the pace and join the international momentum that is seeing unprecedented investments into innovative, clean technology. We now have a great opportunity to use the next four years to close the emissions gap and raise the 2020 target to 25%.
“To achieve this, recent rates of landclearing in Queensland in particular, which amount to tens of millions of tonnes of carbon pollution, must be addressed as part of Australia’s efforts to reduce our domestic carbon pollution.”
Australia set its carbon pollution reduction target of 5% on 2000 levels by 2020 with the option of extending the target up to 25%. The 25% target is in-line with what is needed for Australia to do its fair share in keeping global warming well below 2 degrees.
In partnership with ClimateWorks Australia, WWF will release a new report tomorrow showing Australia is well positioned to make deep pollution cuts while maintaining economic growth similar to the last five years.
“Our report shows Australia can achieve and afford to do more to cut pollution. This includes moving to at least a 25% pollution reduction target in 2020 and 50% renewable energy by 2030, as well as driving significant emission reductions through energy efficiency and protecting our forests,” Ms Caught said.
WWF-Australia Media Contact:
Charlie Stevens, Senior Communications Officer