Stay on Target: Australia set to miss Paris Target

by Matt Grudnoff and Richie Merzian

Australia is off-track and looks set to miss its Paris emission reduction target. National emissions are rising and the government seems unwilling or unable to agree on credible policies to reduce emissions.

The Commonwealth Government has shelved its centrepiece new climate and energy policy, the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). The Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (RET) will not encourage any new renewable energy generation capacity after 2020 and the Government’s emission reduction fund (ERF) did not receive any new funding in the last budget. Of the $2.54 billion previously allocated to the ERF only $250 million remains.

The Government claims it is on track to not just to meet its Paris Agreement Target of reducing emissions by between 26 and 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, but to do so “in a canter”.

To back up this claim the Government has variously argued:

  • Emissions per person and per dollar of real GDP are falling.
  • The Government has successfully met previous Targets. It has met its 2012 Kyoto Target, is on track to meet its 2020 Kyoto Target, and therefore the 2030 Target will also be met.
  • The Government’s “business as usual” and technology-driven approach will be enough for us to meet our 2030 target.

This report looks at each of these claims.

Full report