UPDATED Thursday,October 31
Three major environmental lobby groups have come out in support of a higher carbon emissions target for Australia.
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) the Climate Institute and WWF-Australia have all supported the Climate Change Authority’s argument that Australia’s emissions reduction target is inadequate.
Earlier today, the Climate Change Authority (CCA) released a draft report detailing Australia’s insufficient efforts at cutting emissions by five per cent.
According to the CCA report, Australia is lagging behind other countries in regards to its climate changing policies.
“A cut in pollution of 25 per cent is the least Australia can do to meet its fair share of international obligations,” said Tony Mohr, ACF Climate Change Program Manager.
“The Climate Change Authority is an independent, reputable agency with no political mission which has studied the science and offered conservative goals the government would be wise to heed,” Mr Mohr said.
Kellie Caught, WWF-Australia National Manager Climate Change, supports Mr Mohr’s statement.
“This is an opportunity for the government to step up and do what’s best for our economy, environment and the health of our nation,” she said.
Mr Mohr emphasised the danger of pollution by susing the recent New South Wales bushfires as an example.
“The government should make a priority of the safety and security of Australians by working to prevent the kind of changing weather conditions that can lead to these fires.
“That means deep cuts to Australia’s pollution levels.”
“The longer Australia delays, the harder–and more expensive–serious climate action becomes,” Mr Mohr said.
“The Government should adopt at least the 15 per cent option as an interim minimum emissions reduction target, but it’s the 25 per cent reduction option that should be our goal, as it is the only target that allows Australia to credibly work with other nations to help keep to below two degrees Celsius of global warming,” said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute.
“This draft report from the independent Authority smashes the fishbowl of Australian carbon politics, which has pretended that the 5 per cent target is a fair contribution to global climate action. It should break the stranglehold that the 5 per cent target has had on our political imagination and debate,” Mr Connor added.
At the same time WWF Australia has released details of a AMR poll that found that amongst those with an opinion on targets (67 per cent), close to 80 per cent believed the government should lift the 2020 pollution above its current five per cent goal.
More than half (52 per cent) of those opinion holders believe the minimum target should be 25 per cent or more.
The AMR poll also found that when asked about Australia’s commitment to reduce carbon pollution, 59 per cent felt we should be doing the same or more than China, 63 per cent felt we should be doing the same or more than the United States, and 65 per cent felt we should be doing the same or more than the United Kingdom.
These countries have committed to more ambitious 2020 targets well beyond Australia’s existing five per cent goal.
For more information on the reduction targets and the CCA report visit http://econews.com.au/news-to-sustain-our-world/report-aust-emissions-reduction-target-inadequate/