The Australian Government today ratified the Paris Agreement.
WWF-Australia welcomed the news, and urged the Government to now take steps to make the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees a reality.
Australia joins more than half of the world’s emitters including the USA, China, the UK, the EU, France and Germany who have already ratified the deal.
The Paris Agreement came into force on 4 November in record time, demonstrating a global commitment to taking action on climate change.
“WWF welcomes today’s ratification, which sends a positive signal to the world, that Australia is willing to play our part by reducing pollution and move to clean energy,” WWF-Australia spokesperson Kellie Caught said.
“The Paris Agreement is a landmark agreement where 197 parties including Australia agreed to bridge our differences and take action for our planet.
“Australia’s ratification means we can now focus on strengthening policies and actions to achieve the Agreement’s goals and objectives - in particular the goal of rapid reductions in emissions.
“WWF believes that the Australian Government can and must do more to reduce pollution. The current climate targets and policies are not strong enough to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and protect the people and places we love.
“A new report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) shows the world is heading for a temperature rise between 2.9 and 3.4 degrees, and the world will need to cut a further 25% of emissions by 2030.
“This means the focus on climate action must now shift to scaling up action at a national level.”
There are four key things the Government can do in the next 12 months:
· Strengthen Australia’s 2020 emissions reductions, by joining Germany, the UK and others and cancel Australia’s emissions reductions “credits”.
· Work with the state and territory governments on a national plan to meet stronger renewable energy targets and a just transition for workers and communities.
· Ensure the 2017 climate change review delivers policies and legislation that accelerate transition to clean energy, creates new economic opportunities, and is scalable to drive stronger emission reductions.
· Establish a review to formally strengthen Australia’s 2030 target ahead of the global review (2018 Facilitative Dialogue).
WWF-Australia Media Contact: Daniel Rockett, Senior Manager News & Public Affairs, 0432 206 592, firstname.lastname@example.org