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Australia to miss 2030 emissions targets due to coal

Australia to miss 2030 emissions reduction targets due to failure to wean itself off coal

SYDNEY, November 1, 2017 - Australia is poised to miss its 2030 emissions reduction targets with the United Nations identifying us as one of a number of countries that need to take stronger action to meet its Paris commitments.

The UN Environment Programme's ‘Emissions Gap 2017’ report overnight found that pledges made by nations at Paris in 2015 are only around one-third of what is required to halt global average temperatures rising two degrees or more above pre-industrial levels.

Australia has pledged to cut its 2005 emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030 but the report highlighted the federal government’s own forecasts, which show the nation is set to dramatically miss the target.

Australia is projected to emit 592 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent a year by 2030, well above the targeted range of 429-440 million tonnes.

“Coal is at the heart of Australia’s emissions problems yet the Coalition’s hopelessly compromised energy policy does nothing to address this,” Greenpeace campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.

“Australia's failure to adopt a policy to phase out coal exports was specifically criticised by the UNEP report and Pacific leaders, including Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, who said that Australia was stuck in the dark ages with its reliance on fossil fuels.”

Only yesterday the World Meteorological Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin revealed that CO2 levels in the atmosphere had reached their highest level last year in 800,000 years.
Rapidly increasing levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases can spark unprecedented changes in climate systems, the WMO said.

With world leaders meeting next week in Bonn, Germany for the annual UN climate negotiations, COP23, it’s clear that a strong and shared vision must emerge if the world is to close the 2030 emissions gap and stem the increasing levels of CO2 levels in our atmosphere.
“In the space of just two days we have seen how levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have surged at ‘record-breaking speed’ to new highs in 2016 and how the world’s governments are still not living up to the promises they made in Paris. Time is running out,” Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said:

“The sooner we act, the better. This year’s spate of climate-fuelled hurricanes, floods and drought will rapidly worsen if we fail to seize our moment. The obligation for all countries meeting in Bonn and going forward must be to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

“Paris was just the starting point. Faster, bolder action is needed. Leaders must emerge in Bonn and use the platform to take stronger action and hold others to account if they fail to live up to their obligations. We can still achieve 1.5 degrees Celsius if we all work together.”

Greenpeace is calling for countries to use the first stocktake of collective climate action (the facilitative dialogue) in 2018 to unveil stronger climate ambition.
“The message is clear: our climate is changing and governments must ramp up their action. But more than that, we must also start talking about the responsibilities of carbon producers,” Morgan added.

“Carbon producers have so far avoided taking responsibility, in any form, for greenhouse gas emissions from their products. That must and will change. The world’s carbon producers have a responsibility to contribute to limiting climate change through investment in mitigation, support for adaptation and compensation for climate damages.”

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