Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, has committed to a stronger 2030 emissions reduction target joining the world’s biggest economies which have also set ambitious climate goals.
In his first week in office Albanese promised to reset Australia’s international climate action commitments at an international forum in Tokyo, Japan.
At the meeting which was attended by leaders of Japan, India and the United States, the Prime Minister said climate action was a key diplomatic challenge in the Indo-Pacific region.
Albanese said Australia will lead by example adding that climate change is the main economic and security challenge for the island countries of the Pacific.
“Under my government, Australia will set a new target to reduce emissions,” he said.
Labor has already committed to a 43 per cent reduction by 2030, which is very different to the 26 to 28 per cent target set by the previous government.
The United States has committed to reducing emissions by 50 to 52 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and Japan will reduce emissions by 46 per cent by 2030.
India has set an emissions intensity reduction target of 33 to 35 per cent below 2005 levels.
At the same time total greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union reached their lowest level since 1990, according to official EU data just released by the European Environment Agency to the United Nations.
The overall reduction in 2020 greenhouse gas emissions was 34 per cent compared to the 1990 base year, or 1.94 billion tonnes of CO2.
Back home Labor will face intense domestic pressure to reduce Australia’s target even further now that parliament has resumed.
The Australian Greens support a 75 per cent emissions reduction target for 2030, while ‘teal’ candidates who successfully won seats at last month’s election support targets ranging from 50 to 60 per cent.
ASX-listed companies are also under pressure to reduce emissions with the big four banks promising to stop financing coal by 2030 or 2035.
On a state by state basis,Tasmania’s emissions profile continues to be the envy of the nation, according to the state’s minister for climate change, Roger Jaensch.
For the seventh consecutive year, Tasmania has maintained net negative emissions, the latest State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories Report revealed last week.
In 2020, Tasmania’s net emissions were negative 3.73 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e), which is 121 per cent lower than in 1990. At the same time, Tasmania’s economy has doubled and more than 60,000 jobs have been created.
In 2020, Tasmania was the only state to achieve net-zero emissions.
“We will legislate a target of net zero emissions, or lower, from 2030,” Jaensch said.
“This will be the most ambitious legislated target in the country and one of the most ambitious in the world.”