Trump leaves Paris Australia should step up climate action

If Donald Trump does renege on the US Paris climate commitments, it creates an opportunity for leadership from other countries, including Australia.

A poll of 1420 Australians undertaken in March showed most believe domestic action would be only more important in the event of Donald Trump reneging on US climate action policies.

“Trumps decision to leave puts a new focus on Australia’s commitments,” Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said.

“Australia’s current target of 26-28% by 2030, on 2005 levels, is not in line with the Paris targets, which would require at least 40-60%, on 2000 levels, according to the Climate Change Authority.

“Additionally, we have no policies that will actually get us our pledged target anyway. And we don’t even have a 2050 target at all.

“Australia must integrate our climate and energy policy, which means removing obstacles for renewables and storage in the energy market.

“A moratorium on new coal mines is also needed. For the world’s biggest coal exporter to double its output will only slow the transition and hobble progress globally.

“If Trump is just going to be obstructionist then Paris is stronger without him. He can do more damage in there than outside,” Oquist said.

A recent poll asked Australians about Donald Trump’s promise to backtrack on climate policies. 52% of respondents said this would make Australian action on climate change even more important. Only 11% said it made Australian action less important.

Donald Trump has signaled he wants to get rid of American policies on climate change.

Do you this makes it more important or less important for Australia to take action on climate change and reduce emissions in Australia?

Total

Voting intention

LNP

Labor

GRN

PHON

Ind/

Other

Undec

More important

52%

42%

60%

82%

32%

50%

47%

Less important

11%

15%

8%

6%

19%

9%

7%

No change

25%

34%

21%

5%

35%

21%

18%

Don’t know / not sure

12%

9%

11%

7%

14%

20%

27%

Polling here

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